Archer was the larger name that came over in the Matt Garza trade (prospect mavens will note that Huk-Ju Lee was the prized piece). In 2009, he was the Chicago Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Since then, there are command and consistency concerns curbing his potential. With a plus-plus fastball that sits between 92-95 MPH, and tops at 97, a plus-plus slider (when able to command) that typically ranges in the mid-80s, and a show-me changeup with slow improvements occurring. Archer’s stuff is dominating. His fluid over-the-top delivery causes run and sink to fastball but offers little-to-no deception. Needs to improve consistency, command, work lower in the strike zone and changeup. Expectations are for him to remain in the minor league rotation and transition to the major league bullpen. One comparison is to Edwin Jackson, but scouts stated that Archer has better secondary pitches while at the same age. He projects as a front line starter but his command while push him to the bullpen. He has the stuff and poise to become a solid closer.
Career Stats (inc. 2011): 8.8 K/9 | 5.3 BB/9 | 584 2/3 IP | 3.82 ERA | 1.43 WHIP | .5 Hr/9 | 7.6 H/9
2011 Stats (AA): 7.9 K/9 | 5.4 BB/9 | 134 1/3 IP | 4.42 ERA | 4.52 FIP | 1.61 WHIP | .7 Hr/9 | 9.1 H/9 | .318 BABIP | 71.2 LOB%
Archer’s command clearly is his bane, sitting at a career 5.3 BB/9. Unless he learns to harness his talent and throw strikes more consistently, he’ll quickly become a bullpen arm. An intriguing bullpen arm, but a bullpen arm nonetheless. This may be the best thing for his future. He’s remained in the minor league rotations to expedite development of pitches and gain stamina. What has remained is long-term plans. His fastball-slider combo is reminiscent of Carlos Marmol and Craig Kimbrel. There is no need to rush him as the Rays are loaded with stellar pitching prospects. Could he turn into the Edwin Jackson comparison and see several ineffective major league call-ups, trades and waiver moves? Possibly. Several teams gave up on Jackson before his success came. The Rays have no need to force his hand in the rotation, Archer could easily slip into a high-leveraged bullpen position in 2012, much like Kimbrel in 2012, and provide gaudy numbers.
Segura found his way onto prospect boards after a strong 2010 season at Class Single-A. This was after performing exceptionally in the 2009 Pioneer League (same time as Paul Goldschmidt). He has become one of, “the organizations most dynamic prospects.” Quite high praise for a farm system boasting Mike Trout. Is an aggressive hitter with good bat speed, consistently good contact, has ability to hit to all fields, and projects to have average power especially to pull-side. Although aggressive, he shows a good grasp of the strike zone and handles the bat well (e.g. bunting, hit-and-run, the perfect Mike Scioscia player). Plus-speed leads to natural excellent range at second, a strong arm, and the ability to play both second base and shortstop – something he did for 36 games in 2011, all the games he’s played in 2012 to be exact. Does suffer from some mental lapses. Physically he has a thick lower half, is strong, stocky, yet athletic. Body shape could force position swap back to second base. Has shown history of injuries. In 2008 he broke his ankle. In 2009, he broke a finger. This year (2011) he strained his hamstring in mid-to-late May and has missed the majority of the season.
Career Stats (inc. 2011): .316/.373/.449 | 1128 AB | 91 XBH | 18 Hr | .133 ISO | 102/24 SB/CS | 145:99 K:BB
2011 Stats (A+): .276/.343/.428 | 152 AB | 13 XBH | 3 Hr | .152 ISO | 18/5 SB/CS | 23:15 K:BB | .307 BABIP
This was Segura’s first season playing shortstop, which, for fantasy purposes, is more exciting than him playing second base. There is plenty of upside and excitement with his potential. He has the tools to be a strong five category contributor. Statistically, his ceiling reminds me of a lesser, young Hanley Ramirez – not that Hanley is “old.” Health-wise, he’s like Ian Kinsler with Nelson Cruz’s ligaments. Jim Callis, one of Baseball America’s editors stated, “[re: hamstring injury and unknown duration of DL time] … It’s a shame, because he’s one of the best middle-infield prospects in the game, but shouldn’t affect his long-term value.” I wouldn’t expect him until mid-to-late 2012 summer at the earliest. Call-up could surprise everyone like Jose Altuve’s did this year.