The right-hander struck out eight while allowing a run on one hit over seven innings to lower his Double-A ERA to 0.58 in Tennessee's 7-1 win over Huntsville on Tuesday.
"I've definitely made some progress," Archer said. "Once you start thinking things are a problem, you let it get to your head. I think about throwing strikes, and I need to keep working to reach my maximum potential."
After beginning the season with Class A Advanced Daytona, Archer (7-1) has transitioned well to Double-A batters, giving up seven runs -- three earned -- in 46 1/3 innings over eight starts for the Smokies. He's struck out 44 while allowing only 27 hits.
He's overcome command issues, lowering his walk ratio since joining the Cubs' organization. Archer walked 84 in 115 1/3 innings in 2008, but has issued 51 free passes in 118 2/3 frames this year.
"I feel comfortable [at Double-A]," he said. "But it's one of those situations you can't get complacent. My walk numbers are a little high, but I've been getting ahead of guys. It's a continual grind. I'm always working on the fastball command."
The Indians' fifth-round pick in 2006, Archer was sent along with Jeff Stevens and John Gaub to the Cubs in exchange for Mark DeRosa in 2008. The native of Raleigh, N.C. was considered a throw-in arm in the deal, one that sent the popular DeRosa out of town.
"That trade at the time wasn't very popular with the fans," Cubs assistant general manager Randy Bush told the Daytona Beach News-Journal in June. "But I think in time they may recognize that it was a pretty good trade for the Cubs organization."
Archer is 14-2 with a 1.97 ERA in 23 outings -- 22 of them starts -- between Tennessee and Daytona. On Tuesday, he matched a career high by going seven innings for the first time since Aug. 8, 2007 with the Gulf Coast Indians.
"It was one of those situations where I felt it before the game," he said. "I was throwing strikes in the bullpen and it carried over. The guys played great defense, it's always great when you've got guys backing you."
Archer features a fastball in the mid-90s and a sharp slider to complement his changeup. He used all three Tuesday, working around Chris Nowak's leadoff homer in the second inning for his seventh win in eight Double-A starts.
"Early in the count I was using the fastball and able to keep it down in the zone," Archer said. "And I just worked from there. I threw some good changeups to the lefties."
Archer battled back from a rough start -- his ERA was just under 6.00 after five outings -- and earned his promotion to the Southern League following six shutout frames June 27, his fifth straight winning decision.
"I feel good. I started off rough, the first month, but I've bounced back pretty well," he said. "I've just continued to get better and better."
The Cubs have kept the Clayton (N.C.) High School product on track, although they haven't limited his pitch count too much.
"I think I started out at 75-85 pitches, but now I'm at around 85-100," he said. "It just depends on how the game's going and pitches per inning. They try to protect us, and I'm happy I'm not out here throwing 100, 120 pitches. They're going to take care of us."
Opponents are batting just .190 against the right-hander this year. He's given up five homers in 118 2/3 frames.
"I'm going out there and giving it my best effort every time," he added. "Whether it's three innings and a few runs or seven scoreless, you go out there and help the team win a ballgame."