Forget Tyler Skaggs. Archie Bradley is making some serious noise in the Arizona Diamondbacks system through a month and a half. (Well, don't forget completely about Skaggs... You get the gist.) Bradley's numbers: 4-0, a 1.05 ERA in eight starts (42 2/3 innings), 63 K's, 29 hits allowed and 16 walks. He went 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA in five starts for High Single-A Visalia before being promoted to Double-A Mobile, where he's also 2-0 with a microscopic 0.64 ERA in three starts.
Bradley is still very young (20 years old), and Class AA will be a huge test for him. But if his first three starts at the level are any indication, he's well on his way to putting himself on the map within the organization and on the fantasy radar for upcoming seasons. He's tall and big (6-foot-4, 225 pounds), and some scouts already think he may have the best arm in the Snakes' system.
He makes his living off easily generating mid-90s heaters, and he's been known to dial it up to triple digits on occasion. Perhaps his improved changeup and curveball have been responsible for his scorching start to 2013. Bradley clearly had nothing left to prove at the Single-A level, though, after fanning 152 batters in 136 innings last year. In his three minor leagues seasons to this point, he's sporting a K/9 of 10.9.
It'd be a stretch to think that Bradley can make a significant impact for the D-backs this season, especially with the likes of Skaggs and Randall Delgado ahead of him at Triple-A Reno. Is a September call-up in his future this year? Maybe, but don't get your hopes up. If Bradley continues to impress, however, we'll probably see him begin next year at Reno and be a realistic option for Kirk Gibson's rotation. Right now, only those in dynasty or keeper leagues should have their ears perked up.
New York Mets top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler will miss his next start with Triple-A Las Vegas and will be examined in the Big Apple thanks to soreness in his right clavicle. The Metropolitans view this as a minor injury and are just being ultra precautious with their top pitching arm.
Wheeler, who'll turn 23 on May 30, is 2-1 with a 3.74 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 43 1/3 innings pitched in eight starts at Las Vegas. It would appear that Wheeler is extremely close to being ready to pitch in Flushing, but the team isn't so sure just yet. New York had the same plan of action for Matt Harvey, and that worked out quite well, so they want to play it similarly with Wheeler.
Wheeler probably won't have the type of success initially like Harvey did, but it's inevitable that he'll be called up this season (possibly later this summer), especially with the concerns surrounding their current rotation. Wheeler is worth the shot in all formats once he gets the call.
Baltimore Orioles executive Dan Duquette silenced prospect junkies by saying this week that Kevin Gausman won't be promoted to Triple-A Norfolk in the immediate future, and he's definitely not a candidate for a promotion to Baltimore any time soon. This came in light of the fact that the O's need some fresh rotation fillers thanks to injuries to Wei-Yin Chen (strained oblique) and Miguel Gonzalez (blister on thumb).
Gausman, the former LSU product, is 1-4 at Double-A Bowie but has a 3.35 ERA, 39 K's in 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) and a 1.09 WHIP. Solid work, no doubt, but it's too soon to start thinking fantasy baseball contributions for this 22-year-old. Plus, B'more has veterans Freddy Garcia and Jair Jurrjens that can opt out of their contracts if they aren't given a shot. The Orioles will exhaust those options first, and Steven Johnson is another fill-in that's already seen a spot start.
The injury to Dylan Bundy (forearm) is the main reason Gausman is receiving attention for a potential call-up this early in the year. If Baltimore decides to dip into their pool of pitching prospects late this season, Gausman will probably get the call before the rehabbing Bundy now, but that's too far off to consider for anyone one playing in non-keeper leagues.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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