Sitting down at triple-A Reno is the Arizona Diamondbacks most explosive prospect to ever come along through their own system, Archie Bradley.
He redefined domination last season, splitting his time between single-A Visalia and double-A Mobile. On the year, he made 26 starts and posted a suffocating 1.84 ERA. In 152 innings of work, he struck out 162. While Minor League hitters are not equivalent to the talent he will find up in the pros, he is a 21-year-old with a dynamic arm.
These are the five reasons as to why Archie Bradley needs to be donning the maroon and white sooner, rather than later.
1. A Shot of Energy
Currently sitting at a listless 4-12, the Diamondbacks are in need of a shot of adrenaline. Gloom and doom has already begun to surround itself with the club and avoiding skepticism before it becomes a cancer is necessary for the betterment of the team.
In 2012, Mike Trout was held down in the minors far too long and it may have cost the Los Angeles Angels a playoff berth. While Bradley would only be taking to the mound once every five days, his injection of youth and enthusiasm has the potential to be infectious.
2. The Current Rotation is Miserable
Not more than three weeks into the season, two of the expected mainstays of the rotation have already been cast aside for options that are far from guaranteed. Neither Josh Collmenter, nor Mike Bolsinger comes with the untapped potential that Bradley does.
Similarly to how the New York Mets let Matt Harvey run wild on opposing lineups following their trade of former ace R.A. Dickey, the D-Backs could utilize the fan bases insatiable need to go crazy over a pitcher. At just 21 years of age, Bradley will at the very least be a boost at the box office for a club that is always in search of finding a way to get fans down to the ballpark.
3. He has dominated the Minors
Even after only two full seasons of Minor League baseball under his belt, Bradley is already regarded as a “can’t miss” prospect. With a blazing fastball, the young gun out of Muskogee, Oklahoma has ascended rapidly through the D-Backs system, not missing a beat along the way.
Fair or not, first-round draft picks get preferential treatment. Taken with the seventh overall selection in the 2011 Amateur Draft, Bradley is expected to one day be the ace of the rotation. He can either continue to develop his pitches down in triple-A while dispatching of lower-level talent, or he can undergo a “sink or swim” strategy up the bigs.
4. Like it or not, the 2014 season is slowly slipping away
Without cramming down on the panic meter, the writing is on the wall. The Los Angeles Dodgers are a team built unlike any other seen before during the free agency era and are going to be nearly impossible to catch if they jump out too far ahead.
The acquisitions of Mark Trumbo and Bronson Arroyo in the off-season highlight the Diamondbacks “win now” attitude. This is not a club in rebuilding mode, but one attempting to capitalize on the prime of superstar first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Before the season becomes nothing more than a display for 2015, Bradley can attempt to salvage the next five months.
5. Both Kirk Gibson and Kevin Towers can save their jobs
The proverbial “hot seat” is nearly scorching for both men. As mentioned, this season was not one anticipated to be a roller coaster ride, but rather a continuous ascension to the top of the National West.
Either both men can save Bradley for the next regime that replaces them, or they can utilize the weapons they have while they’re still in power. Should the move flop, they’re more than likely gone regardless. But, should they hit the jackpot, they potentially may save their jobs.