Nobody could have asked Archie Bradley for a better 2013 season.
The 21-year-old right-hander went 14-5 with a 1.84 ERA across two levels. He struck out 162 batters over 152 innings while limiting opponents to a .215 batting average.
Still, the Arizona Diamondbacks would like to see their top prospect develop a bit more before they drop him into big league waters.
"I think he still, based on what I saw and our scouts, he needs to use his secondary pitches a little bit more," D-backs general manager Kevin Towers told MLB.com. "Really refine the curveball and the changeup."
A 2013 debut for Bradley also would create a logistical challenge for the club. The seventh overall pick in the 2011 Draft is not eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. However, if he made a start in the Major Leagues, the D-backs would have to protect him by keeping him on the 40-man roster during the offseason.
"To add him to the roster in the winter when roster spots are very valuable to us -- and the team being pretty much out of contention -- didn't make a lot of sense," Towers said.
Bradley was named the Topps Player of the Month for August, and his pitching was a key factor in Double-A Mobile's charge to the Southern League Championship Series.
Towers did indicate that the Oklahoma native would get a non-roster invitation to big league camp in Spring Training and the opportunity to compete for a spot in the D-backs' 2014 starting rotation.
"I think he deserves it," Towers said.