Dbacks See Lincecum in Trevor Bauer
Barring Injury, The Drafting Of Trevor Bauer And Archie Bradley Provides A Bevy Of Starting Pitching Prospects
Trevor Bauer pitches for UCLA in 2010. Image courtesy UCLA.
By Bob Goodwood
Special for Modern Times Magazine .com
June 6, 2011 — In the more than 12 years since the Diamondbacks have been part of the National League, they have only groomed one starting pitcher who gave them quality innings: Brandon Webb.
Sure, there have been some good major leaguers to come from the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system, but they usually had decent careers with other teams. Vicente Padilla, for one, who was part of the deal that brought Curt Schilling to the desert. Another is Brad Penny who was sent to the Marlins as part of the Matt Mantei deal in 1999.
But in the next few years, there could be a couple more to add to the list and the Diamondbacks’ drafting of right handed pitchers Trevor Bauer of UCLA and Archie Bradley of Broken Arrow High School in Blackwell, Okla. are destined to be part of the reason.
Jarrod Parker and Tyler Skaggs might be the names we know now, but both Bauer and Bradley will be in the mix as top prospects very soon. Whether they make it or not will have as much to do with luck as talent, but the potential is obviously there, and in abundance.
"By adding Trevor Bauer and Archie Bradley along with Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson that are already in our Major League rotation and Jarrod Parker and Tyler Skaggs in the minor leagues, we now have a tremendous foundation of pitching to build on," said D-backs' Executive Vice President & General Manager Kevin Towers.
Bauer is compared favorably to Tim Lincecum because of their similar body types and arms that bring them 97 mph on the radar guns. Bauer was named Collegiate Baseball's National Player of the Year, Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year and is a semifinalist for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award after posting a 13-2 record, 1.25 ERA and NCAA-best 203 strikeouts in 16 starts this season for UCLA. He has thrown 10 complete games this year, including nine straight to end the season and led all conference pitchers in ERA, strikeouts, innings pitched, 136.2 and opponent's batting average, .154).
The 6-2, 185-pound junior earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors a record six times and was a National Player of the Week selection by Louisville Slugger on seven occasions. Bauer is UCLA's all-time career leader with 34 wins, 460 strikeouts and 373.1 innings pitched and is the only Bruins pitcher to have at least 10 wins in two or more seasons. His career strikeouts total ranks second on the Pac-10 list behind Tim Lincecum, who had 491 strikeouts for Washington from 2004 to 2006. Bauer set the Pac-10 single-season record with 203 strikeouts after fanning 14 batters on June 4 against Fresno State to surpass USC's Mark Prior, who had 202 in 2001.
"What Trevor Bauer has done in his career at UCLA was record setting, and I think that speaks for itself," said Ray Montgomery, the Dbacks’ director of scouting. "We see him as a potential rotational guy for us and I think his talent gives him a chance to make an impact on us sooner rather than later.”
Bradley, who coincidentally went to the same high school as Brad Penny — Broken Arrow in Blackwell, Okla. — could be a dominating closer or reliever one day if that Nolan Ryan-esque thing doesn’t work out for him. An accomplished hitter as well as pitcher, Bradley has signed a national letter of intent to play football and baseball at the University of Oklahoma.
Bradley posted a 12-1 record and 0.29 ERA with 137 strikeouts and just 11 walks in 71.3 innings to lead Broken Arrow to the Oklahoma Class 6A state championship this year. The 6-4, 215-pound senior also led the team with 9 home runs and batted .395 with 31 RBI while also being named The Oklahoman's All-State Baseball Player of the Year and to the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State team. He was a pre-season All-America selection by Louisville Slugger before his senior campaign and was named to the AFLAC All-America roster after his junior season in 2010.
"We went into this year with the idea of focusing on the best talent and I think we successfully accomplished what we set out to do," said D-backs' Senior Vice President, Scouting & Player Development Jerry Dipoto. "We picked the two best names we could possibly get in these positions and we are very confident Trevor Bauer and Archie Bradley are going to be outstanding Major League players and make a huge difference for the D-backs in the future."
The old adage “you can never have too much pitching,” might be true but the way the Diamondbacks are compiling good, young arms, they might soon have as much as anyone else in the National League.
Bob Goodwood is a freelance writer currently living in Scottsdale.
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