Jim Hickey Drops Shields-Price Comparison On Chris Archer

March 1st, 2016

New York Mets v Tampa Bay RaysObviously, Chris Archer views himself as more than a guy who digs his cleats into the mound every fifth day.

Whether it’s his growing role as a clubhouse leader or his acts of goodwill beyond the field, he’s becoming known for more than just his pitching prowess, which is considerable. (Remember how Archer fanned a career-high 252 batters last year?)

So it should come as no surprise that Archer enters this spring under a┬álarger spotlight. He’s coming off his first All-Star┬áseason. He has become the rotation’s voice, as shown by his willingness to go all General Patton on pitching prospects Blake Snell and Jacob Faria for showing up “late” for a workout in February.

Joe considers Archer the Rays’ version of Jameis Winston. Like young Jameis, Archer saw a need early in his career to snag the “leader” tag and sprint with it.

Jayson Stark of ESPN.com realized Archer’s personality when reporting a long piece on the right-hander. Pitching coach Jim Hickey told Stark that Archer brings to mind other former rotation bulldogs like James Shields and David Price.

“One of the things that makes him special, and makes him a lot like James Shields was and David Price was, was because they wanted to be That Guy,” Hickey said. “They wanted to be the best performer. They wanted to be the leader. But they were also willing to pay the price. You know, a lot of guys might say they want to be That Guy, but they’re not willing to pay the price. And I think that all started with Shields here. And David certainly carried it on. And now Chris is doing the same thing.”

Joe sees nothing wrong with Archer wanting to be “That Guy,” as long as he puts in the work and pumps out the numbers to back up his ambition.

After Archer’s breakout season last year, it’s fair to expect more.


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