The final piece of the DeRosa trade and the “throw-in” of the deal is 19 year old Chris Archer with an ideal pitcher frame at 6′2 180lbs. In the 2006 draft, he was the 5th round pick for the Indians and would have gone sooner if it wasn’t for his wildness.
Archer features a plus fastball that has good lateral movement but no sink, it sits around 89-93 mph with touches of 95. Slowly, he’s becoming more comfortable with it and it’s turning into a strikeout pitch for him. His curveball is his best pitch, always has been, as he throws it hard getting great sharp bite; in the 2006 draft it was considered one of best breaking balls of high schoolers. Archer also has a circle change that has the potential to also be a plus pitch down the road. His career stats thus far are unimpressive but at just 19 in the Sally League, he was one of the youngest players of the league, so numbers are very misleading. Even still, he made 27 starts going 115 1/3 IP giving up 92 hits, 84 BB, 106 K, 4.29 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, .215 BAA. Earlier on, Archer was overpowered but towards the end of the season, he started to turn the corner.
Without question, his weakness is his very high walk rate but that should help resolve itself once he establishes a steady delivery point. His multiple plus pitches, makeup and age gives Archer awhile to develop and he could turn into a #3 starter in three-four years if everything goes his way. The Cub scouts see alot of similarities between him and former Cub prospect Sean Gallagher. For the time being, he’d probably benefit from starting the 2009 season repeating Low A but should see significant time in High A this season.