Chicago Cubs: Impressing in the minors
At 20 years old, Archer made his minor league debut for the Cubs’ former Class-A club, the Peoria Chiefs. In 26 starts, Archer posted an impressive 2.81 ERA over 109 innings. His most eye-popping statistic was the zero home runs he allowed during that span.
The Cubs promoted Archer the following season and again later in the year. He spent 15 games at Class-A Advanced Daytona and 13 games at Double-A Tennessee. In Daytona, Archer carried a 2.86 ERA. In Tennessee, he posted a 1.80 ERA. A combined 2.34 ERA in 142 1/3 innings with a 9.4 K/9 rate.
Archer was so impressive he jumped to the forefront of the trade rumors, and, as a top prospect, became the carrot the Cubs front office began dangling in hopes of immediately changing the scope of their starting core. Shortly after that, the Cubs found a buyer. In a blockbuster move, the Cubs sent Archer, shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, catcher Robinson Chirinos and outfielders Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer to Tampa Bay.