The hard-throwing 6’4” 230 pound Archie Bradley epitomizes the projectable high school righthander that major league scouts look for. A premium athlete, Bradley was a three sport start at Broken Arrows high school and he intends to play both football and baseball at the University of Oklahoma– if he isn’t offered a gaudy signing bonus from a MLB club.
Bradley is a two-way ballplayer who brings rare athleticism to the mound. Despite his height and size, Bradley has great body control and coordination. He repeats his delivery and smooth, balanced pitching mechanics well. He easily generates plus fastball velocity and his delivery naturally adds explosive life. His sinking two-seamer sits firmly in the 91-94 mph range while his explosive four-seamer can reach the high 90s when he’s loose. Last summer, pitching in the Connie Mack World Series in New Mexico, Bradley’s fastball consistently sat in the mid 90’s and reached as high as 98 mph.
To complement his electric heater, Bradley has developed formidable offspeed stuff. The young righty throws both a knuckle curve and a riding changeup. Sitting in the 83-85 range, Bradley’s plus curve is the better of the two pitches and flashes wipeout potential. He throws the pitch with an arm slot similar to his fastball and uses the pitch’s nasty 12-6 movement to get opposing batters to chase it off of the table. While his fastball lights up radar guns, often registering in the 97-99 mph range on ballpark scoreboards, Bradley’s curve sets him apart from the rest of the draft’s power pitchers.
Relying primarily on his mid to high 90s heat and his filthy curveball, Bradley pitched the Tigers past Dylan Bundy’s Owasso Rams, securing Oklahoma’s 6A State Title. Bradley left the game’s spectators in awe, striking out 14 batters while allowing only 2 hits. His fastball was absolutely unhittable and sat consistently at 94-95 mph and reach 99 mph on a couple of occasions.
To go with his fastball-curve one-two punch, Bradley also shows a solid changeup. While he hasn’t needed it much, his changeup—similar in appearance to a palm ball– flashes decent potential was only a few ticks behind his other offerings by the end of his senior season. The pitch features nice fade and sink and good velocity differential. With more work, his change could develop into (at least) a major league-average offering.
Bradley’s powerful legs and phenomenal coordination have helped him develop his loose and easy pitching mechanics. He consistently repeats his delivery and spots his fastball in all parts of the zone despite throwing it with premium velocity. He throws quality strikes with unwavering control and he should develop plus major league command of his repertoire with more experience.
Bradley’s ideal build, athleticism and clean mechanics make him a much less risky pick than the average high-profile high school arm and he should have a long career as a big-league starter. Still though, he does have plenty to work on. He needs to develop better feel and command for his secondary pitches before he can be considered for a big league rotation. His changeup shows plenty of potential as a third pitch but still needs more seasoning.