ESPN insider: D-backs’ Archie Bradley, Braden Shipley among baseball’s top 25 prospects

Jun 1, 2014, 8:28 PM | Updated: Jun 2, 2014, 2:21 pm

The 2014 season has not gone according to plan thus far for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Over the first two months of the campaign, the D-backs have been plagued by both inconsistent play and notable injuries to key players.

But while Arizona’s less-than-stellar 23-36 record might not instill confidence within its fan base, ESPN baseball analyst Keith Law was more than happy to bring a little cheer to the Valley faithful with his updated top 25 prospects rankings.

In an ESPN insider piece released this weekend, Law included Arizona pitching prospects Archie Bradley and Braden Shipley on his esteemed list.

In fact, the D-backs were one of only five organizations — the others being the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins — to have more than one prospect ranked.

Bradley, the team’s No. 7 overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, has had a rough go of it this season in Triple-A Reno. The Oklahoma native had a 1-4 record with 23 strikeouts in five starts with a 5.18 ERA before being forced to the Aces’ seven-day disabled list in late April with an elbow injury.

The 21-year-old has not made a return to the mound since his stint on the DL, however he has made progress in his rehabilitation program.

12. Archie Bradley | RHP | Arizona Diamondbacks (age 21)

Current level: Triple-A (Reno)

Preseason ranking: 9

Bradley probably would be in the majors by now had he not been slowed by an elbow injury that has cost him a month already and may not see him back in a game until mid-June.

He remains among the game’s best pitching prospects despite his high ERA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, making four of his five starts so far in terrible pitchers’ parks.

Like Bradley, Shipley is not a first-timer on Law’s list, though his progress in Low-A South Bend led to ESPN analyst moving him up the rankings.

The organization’s first-round selection last June, Shipley has been impressive so far in 2014, going 4-2 with a 3.74 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 41 strikeouts in the Midwest League.

23. Braden Shipley | RHP | Arizona (age 22)

Current level: Low Class A (South Bend)

Preseason ranking: 25

Shipley got a slightly late start after a brief elbow scare of his own, but he’s been solid so far in low A, showing three above-average pitches at times with excellent control, walking two or fewer batters in every start but one so far. He’s too advanced for low A, but the D-backs may be trying to keep him out of the hitter-friendly Cal League, or to minimize any eventual stay there.

While the present might not seem extremely bright, it’s comforting to know the organization possesses potential pieces to build toward a better future. And based on Law’s rankings, the cupboard certainly isn’t bear for the D-backs when it comes to pitching talent.

Penguin Air

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles safety Marc...
Arizona Sports

Larry Fitzgerald, Pedro Gomez in 2022 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class

Arizona Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald and late journalist Pedro Gomez are among the 2022 class entering the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
22 hours ago
Tommy Henry #47 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a first inning pitch against the Pittsburgh Pi...
Kellan Olson

D-backs starting pitching stays hot, Henry’s first W takes down Pirates

Diamondbacks rookie Tommy Henry continued the strong run of form from the team's starting pitching lately in a win over the Pirates.
2 days ago
Pittsburgh Pirates' Rodolfo Castro, left, watches along with Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Bar...
Haboob Blog

Pirates’ Rodolfo Castro loses phone while sliding into 3rd base at Chase Field

Now here's something you don't see very often on the diamond: a cell phone popping out of a players back pocket mid-game.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' Cooper Hummel dives in vain for a double hit by Colorado Rockies' Connor Joe ...
Arizona Sports

Diamondbacks recall OF Cooper Hummel, option C Jose Herrera

The Diamondbacks called up Cooper Hummel from Triple-A and said they optioned backup catcher Jose Herrera to the minor league squad.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the f...
Arizona Sports

Zac Gallen’s terrific outing propels Diamondbacks over Pirates

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen dominated the Pirates with seven efficient innings on Monday at Chase Field.
3 days ago
Edwin Uceta #66 of the Arizona Diamondbacks looks on after an error scored Mookie Betts #50 of the ...
Arizona Sports

D-backs recall RHP Edwin Uceta from Triple-A Reno, place LHP Kyle Nelson on IL

The D-backs on Monday placed LHP Kyle Nelson on the 15-day injured list and recalled RHP Edwin Uceta from Triple-A Reno.
3 days ago
ESPN insider: D-backs’ Archie Bradley, Braden Shipley among baseball’s top 25 prospects