D-backs top prospect Bradley bounces back in AFL

Right-hander throws four scoreless innings after struggling first three starts

D-backs top prospect Bradley bounces back in AFL

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After a rough start to the Arizona Fall League, Archie Bradley's dominant arsenal of pitches finally came to life.

The right-hander turned in his best performance of the AFL as the Salt River Rafters won their fifth-straight game and defeated the Glendale Desert Dogs, 8-1, on Friday afternoon.

Box Score

Bradley, the No. 9 prospect in all of baseball according to MLBpipeline.com, threw four shutout innings and was very pleased with his outing.

"It's something that I've been working for, to have a start like that where things kind of rolled together and clicked for me," Bradley said. "I've been searching for a start like that, working my tail off. For it to come together today is a good feeling."

Peter O'Brien, the Diamondbacks' seventh-ranked prospect, was behind the plate for the first few innings of the game, and was also impressed with what he saw from Bradley.

"He looked great," O'Brien said. "I've caught him a couple times now and that was the best I've seen him. He looked like a power pitcher."

Bradley gave up two hits and a walk in the first, but settled down and faced the minimum -- nine hitters, -- over his final three innings.

However, that does not mean Bradley was perfect for those innings.

Bradley, Arizona's top-ranked prospect, allowed four runners to reach over that span, but picked one off first and the other three were thrown out by O'Brien as they tried to steal.

"I've been working hard at it with our coaching staff and some of the guys," O'Brien said of his defense behind the plate. "Things have been clicking for me lately and it was good for it to show in the game so I'm really happy about that."

While Bradley was putting up zeros for Salt River, Glendale's Zach Davies was matching him pitch for pitch.

Davies, the No. 8 prospect in the Orioles organization, began the game with a 4.15 ERA through his first three AFL starts, but on Friday he twirled four scoreless innings.

"He looked good," O'Brien said. "He was mixing pitches well and keeping the hitters off balance."

When Davies was done carving up the Rafters lineup, Salt River took advantage of the Glendale bullpen.

Rockies prospect Ryan Casteel drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single in the sixth and then Salt River opened up the game in the seventh and eighth innings.

The Rafters used three doubles and a walk to scratch across three runs in the seventh inning and then sent nine batters to the plate in a four-run eighth.

Right in the middle of all the scoring was Trevor Story, the Rockies 11th-ranked prospect.

Story, who finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs and a pair of walks, extended his hitting streak to four with a two-run double in the seventh, and drove in two more with a double in the eighth.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @boor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.