GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When he heard that Archie Bradley was starting in a Minor League game recently, D-backs catcher Miguel Montero made sure he walked out to the back fields to watch.Bradley, 19, was the club's second pick in the first round (seventh overall) in last year's Draft. The right-hander turned down a football scholarship at the University of Oklahoma to sign with the D-backs. So why did Montero want to watch him pitch? "I wanted to see what he had," Montero said. "I don't believe what people say, so I wanted to see it. I saw the real deal right there. The ball was coming out of his hand like he was throwing 200 mph, an explosion. Those kids had no chance. Then I'm like, 'He's got just a fastball,' and then he threw a hammer [curveball]. I was like, 'Wow.' He's only 19, but if he stays healthy the way he is, he's going to be here probably sometime next year. I guarantee that."
Bradley, along with Dylan Bundy, was regarded as one of the two most polished high school arms in last year's Draft. He's expected to start the year at Class A South Bend, but could move quickly through the system if he masters a changeup to go along with his fastball and curve.The D-backs' front office was impressed with what they saw of Bradley during instructional league last fall, and he certainly has a fan in Montero. "He was phenomenal," Montero said. "I was real excited watching him pitch. It was like a nice and easy 96. It looked effortless, and that tells you it's a good arm. Plus, his mentality is just locked in for that, too. "He's a good kid. He has a great personality, I like it. Seems like a great teammate. He's dedicated, he wants to get better and he wants to play in the big leagues soon."
Towers says Parra is staying put
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Judging by D-backs GM Kevin Towers' comments Friday night, outfielder Gerardo Parra is not going anywhere and contract-extension talks with pitchers Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson don't appear to be progressing.A trade involving Parra has been speculated about since the D-backs signed Jason Kubel in December, which bumped Parra to the fourth outfield spot. The Nationals are the team most frequently linked to Parra, given their need for a center fielder. "We haven't really had any trade discussion about him," Towers said. "Some people inquired earlier and we kind of shut it down. We're a better team with him, so we plan on keeping him. He's playing very well this spring." Earlier this spring, Towers expressed an interest in exploring contract extensions with Kennedy and Hudson. At the time, Towers said that if talks did happen, they would take place before Opening Day. Kennedy will be eligible for salary arbitration for the first time after the 2012 season, while Hudson likely will not be eligible until '13. Judging by what Towers said Friday, if the D-backs had any talks with the pair, they were not fruitful. "I don't anticipate anything happening with either of them before the start of the season," Towers said.
CY's winter work is paying spring dividends
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The work that D-backs outfielder Chris Young put in on his swing during the offseason has paid off so far this spring.Young, who is holding his hands higher in his setup at the plate, entered Friday night's game with the White Sox hitting .438 with four doubles, and he padded his stats with his third home run in the fourth inning. "I've felt pretty comfortable to this point," Young said. "The results have come, but my approach coming into spring was not even to worry about the results, but just stick with my approach and not panic if it didn't work out at the beginning and trust that the work I put in during the offseason would transfer over." D-backs manager Kirk Gibson has noticed the difference. What Gibson likes the most is that Young's bat stays in the hitting zone longer than it has in the past. "He's really come a long way in his swing path, his approach and his thought process," Gibson said. "He's like right there. If he puts that all together ... I think he understands what he has to do, and now it's just up to him to implement it consistently in the game. He could be a monster offensively. I think his average can go up." Bothered by a thumb injury in the second half, Young batted .236 with 20 homers in 2011. "It's still a day-to-day process," he said. "I'm just trying to get ready for Opening Day and working on being more consistent at the plate. That's the ultimate goal."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.