Here's another draft spotlight. I am using this one instead of Anthony Rendon, since I don't think the Rice University third baseman will be selected by the Orioles. But I'll have it handy in case things change (and things apparently have a way of changing).
Here's what I could dig up on Bradley. There were some on-line discrepancies on his exact ERA, strikeout totals and fastball velocity, but, trust me, it was all impressive.
Connolly's take: People who know more than me on the draft are convinced the Orioles are taking Bradley.
But I would still be a little surprised. Not because he doesn't have the talent or the pedigree, but because at No. 4 I didn't think the Orioles would take a high schooler unless it was fellow Oklahoman Dylan Bundy.
Maybe that thinking has changed, but it will be hard to spin this away from finances if University of Virginia's Danny Hultzen and Bundy are both available at No. 4 and the Orioles pass on them for Bradley. There have been reports that Hultzen and Bundy both have lofty contract demands.
That said, Bradley won't be a slam-dunk signing since he has the opportunity to play football and baseball at Oklahoma, so there is leverage there.
So it would surprise me a bit if they call Bradley's name at No. 4. But Joe Jordan, an Oklahoman, has seen Bradley pitch a lot and he is a bit of riverboat gambler. He is confident in his opinions and usually doesn't fold to perceptions of what he should do.
Name: Archie Bradley
Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 220
School/Class: Broken Arrow High, Okla./Senior
Hometown: Broken Arrow, Okla.
Position: Right-handed pitcher
2011 stats: 12-1, 0.38 ERA , 71 1/3 IP, 3ER, 11 BBs, 137 Ks
Skinny: Big and strong, he throws his fastball in the mid-90s and has a power knuckle-curve that could be his best pitch. Also has a changeup and is developing a cutter. … He reportedly threw in the low 90s last year but hit 100 mph in the Oklahoma 6A championship game. … His Tigers beat Dylan Bundy's Owasso High squad for the state championship. Bradley pitched, throwing a complete game shutout with 14 strikeouts and two hits allowed. Bundy did not pitch in the game. … He trains with and is good friends with Bundy, who is also considered a top pick in the draft. … The Oklahoman newspaper named Bradley its player of the year over Bundy, but Bundy won Gatorade's National Player of the Year. … Bradley can use the bat, too. He hit .397 with nine homers this season. … Has a dual commitment to the University of Oklahoma to pitch and play quarterback. … In its amateur draft preview, Baseball America listed Bradley as the 7th best right-handed pitching prospect and predicted he would go 16th to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The quote: "The approach I take is, 'Be the best.' I write BTB on my gloves and cleats. I want to be the absolute best. I never like to finish in second. That's what lights my fire. I want to be the best baseball player I can be and that's where my motivation and drive comes from."
Bradley told the Houston Astros Examiner in a phone interview, according to examiner.com/houston