Archer with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2015
|Tampa Bay Rays – No. 22|
September 26, 1988 |
Raleigh, North Carolina
|June 20, 2012, for the Tampa Bay Rays|
(through April 14, 2017)
|Earned run average||3.48|
|Career highlights and awards|
He attended Clayton High School in Clayton, North Carolina. Archer was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the fifth round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft. He made his MLB debut on June 20, 2012. Archer was selected to the 2015 MLB All-Star Game.
Archer attended Clayton High School in Clayton, North Carolina, where he played for the school's baseball team. He signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Miami. Archer pitched to an 8–3 win–loss record with a 1.75 earned run average (ERA) during his senior season at Clayton.
Archer was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the fifth round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft. He joined the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Indians after signing. He also pitched in one game for the Burlington Indians of the Rookie-level Appalachian League.
Archer remained with the Gulf Coast Indians to start the 2007 season. In 2008, Archer had a 4–8 win–loss record in 27 games started for the Lake County Captains of the Class A South Atlantic League. On December 31, 2008, he was traded with John Gaub and Jeff Stevens to the Chicago Cubs for Mark DeRosa.
Archer pitched for the Peoria Chiefs of the Class A Midwest League during the 2009 season. In 2010, Archer had a 15–3 win-loss record with a 2.34 earned run average (ERA) between the Daytona Cubs of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League and Tennessee Smokies of the Class AA Southern League. With Daytona, he had a streak of 41 innings pitched without allowing an earned run. He was named the Cubs' Minor League Pitcher of the Year, and the Cubs added him to their 40 man roster to protect him from being selected by another team in the Rule 5 Draft. After the season, he pitched for the United States national baseball team in the qualifying tournament for the 2011 Pan American Games. Defeating the Cuban national baseball team, USA Baseball called Archer's game the International Performance of the Year.
Tampa Bay Rays
In January 2011, the Cubs traded Archer to the Tampa Bay Rays with Hak-Ju Lee, Brandon Guyer, Robinson Chirinos and Sam Fuld for Matt Garza, Fernando Perez and Zac Rosscup. At the start of the season, he was rated the 27th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America. Pitching for the Montgomery Biscuits of the Southern League, Archer had a 5.85 ERA through the first two months of the season and a 5.27 ERA at the end of the first half of the season. In the second half, he made a turnaround, going 5–4 with a 3.45 ERA. He received a promotion to the Durham Bulls of the Class AAA International League, making two starts for the Bulls at the end of the season, and allowing only one run.
Baseball America rated Archer the Rays' third best prospect and the 89th best prospect in baseball before the 2012 season. Archer pitched to a 4–8 win–loss record with a 4.81 ERA in 14 games started for Durham to start the 2012 season. He was promoted to the major leagues for the first time on June 20, starting in place of the injured Jeremy Hellickson. In his MLB debut, Archer allowed three hits and three runs (one earned) while recording seven strikeouts in six innings, becoming the first pitcher the Rays did not draft to start a game for the team since Matt Garza on September 30, 2010.
Archer became the first pitcher to register an at-bat at Oriole Park at Camden Yards when he finished an at-bat for injured Ryan Roberts, striking out under orders not to swing. He recorded his first major league win on September 19, 2012 against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field after going 5 innings and giving up 3 earned runs.
Archer began the 2013 season with Triple-A Durham. He was called up on June 1, 2013 to start against the Cleveland Indians. In his first extended action in the Majors, he went 9–7 with a 3.22 ERA in 23 starts. Among AL rookies, Archer ranked first in ERA, opponents' average (.226), complete games (two), shutouts (two), hits per nine innings (7.5) and WHIP (1.13). He was named the AL Pitcher of the Month and AL Rookie of the Month for July. He finished third in voting for AL Rookie of the Year, behind Detroit's Jose Iglesias and teammate Wil Myers.
On April 2, 2014, it was announced that Archer had agreed to a six-year extension with the Rays worth $25.5 million guaranteed. The two option years will pay Archer about $9 million and $11 million, with the total contract maxing out at $43.75 million for all eight seasons. For the season, he went 10-9 with a 3.33 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 173 strikeouts in 194 2⁄3 innings pitched.
Archer was named the Rays' Opening Day starter after Alex Cobb was placed on the 15-day Disabled List to begin the season. On June 2, Archer struck out 15 batters in a 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Archer was selected to the 2015 MLB All-Star Game, where he pitched 1.1 innings and gave up one run. On August 20, he threw a complete game one hit shutout against the Houston Astros, in which he threw only 98 pitches and struck out 11.
Archer finished the season 12-13 with a 3.23 ERA and 252 strikeouts, which was good for 2nd in the American League. Archer finished 5th in the American League Cy Young Award voting, behind Dallas Keuchel, David Price, Sonny Gray, and Chris Sale. Archer also provided guest color commentary for ESPN in their coverage of the 2015 American League Wild Card Game, and served as a guest commentator for Baseball Tonight and ESPN Radio during that year's World Series.
Archer was a favorite among many baseball writers and fans to win the Cy Young Award before the season started after his strong 2015. Despite these expectations, Archer took a step back in 2016, posting a 4.66 ERA in the first half of the season. Archer rebounded strongly in the second half, however, and posted a 3.25 ERA after the all-star game. He finished the season with a 4.02 ERA, 233 strikeouts (tied for second in the American League), and a 10.4 strikeouts per nine ratio. He also led the majors with 19 losses, which can be attributed to his poor 3.48 run support. Following the season, Archer once again served as a guest analyst for ESPN and ESPN Radio during the 2016 World Series.
World Baseball Classic
Chris Archer pitched for Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. In his only start of the tournament, the first game for Team USA, Archer pitched four perfect innings against Colombia in a 3-2, extra inning victory for the US.
Archer is listed at 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) and 200 pounds (91 kg). He throws a four-seam fastball between 93 to 96 miles per hour (150–154 km/h) that can reach 99 mph (159 km/h). His secondary pitches include a dominating slider at 86-89 mph, and circle change from 86 to 90 mph.
Archer's mother, Sonya Clark, is Caucasian. His biological father, a firefighter, is African-American. Sonya has two other children with a different father. Chris was raised by Donna and Ron Archer, his maternal grandparents, who adopted him when he was two years old.
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