Posted on: July 24, 2009 2:09 pm

Brackman's star dims

Not that it was ever that bright to begin with, but the 2007 Yankee first round pick has been a colossal disappointment in low A this year. I was opposed to the pick when it was made, knowing what a project he was, but like many, I was intrigued by his upside with the reports of him touching 99 mph as a 19 year old.

Those days seem to have gone with his TJ surgery however, and now Boras's bonus baby is sitting at 88-90MPH. Now that wouldn't be so galling if he could actually throw strikes, but that's not happening with any consistency either.

Here are his hard to look at numbers for 2009.

1 win, 11 losses

86IP 89H 65ER 64BB 79K


Dave Cameron with fangraphs.com went to see him pitch last night, and was less than impressed:

Category: MLB
Tags: Brackman
Posted on: January 12, 2009 4:24 pm

Gearing up for Andrew Brackman

Article on MLB.com about the pending debut of 2007 First rounder Andrew Brackman a year and a half removed from TJ Surgery:

This past summer, Brackman worked his way back through a rehab program with the Yankees down at their Tampa facility. But any faint hopes that he might take the mound for the Gulf Coast League's Rookie-level team before the end of August ended when he underwent an emergency appendectomy which set back his timetable by another month.

He finally took the mound in instructional league and given the "all clear" sign, he was dispatched to Hawaii where he made eight starts for the Waikiki BeachBoys in the Hawaii Winter Baseball League.

Brackman went 3-4 with a 5.56 ERA, striking out 36 batters in 34 innings and limiting the league's batters to a .235 average. He went five or more innings in four of his starts, including three of the last four.

"His velocity was between 94-97 [mph], so he had no problems and he's ready to go for Major League camp," said Mark Newman, the Yankees' senior vice president of baseball operations. "His stuff is outstanding, and he's getting a feel for his delivery and throwing strikes. But first and foremost, he was healthy and, at times, dominant."

The delivery and mechanics are definitely the biggest challenge for Brackman, and not just because he has had so little mound time. For a pitcher of his size, there are both benefits and challenges.

"The benefits are the power and deception because the ball is released closer to the plate," Newman explained. "But the downside is you have long levers to manage, and it takes time. There aren't many of those guys in the environment to use as test cases, but most people believe that taller guys take a little longer to get their command."

That said, Newman added that Brackman has the advantage of being an exceptional athlete.

"To watch him run, he looks like he's 6-foot-2," Newman said of the young man who offsets that explosive heat with a knuckle curve and a developing changeup.

So while it's impossible at this point to make a prediction on Brackman's ETA to the big leagues, it's equally impossible not to dream about his upside.

The article has other blurbs about fellow TJ re-habbers, Humberto Sanchez, JB Cox, and Mark Melancon.



Category: MLB
Tags: Brackman
Posted on: September 26, 2008 4:10 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2008 4:11 pm

Finally, Brackman to debut

After being selected with the Yankees' first pick in the 2007 draft, and immediately undergoing Tommy John surgery, then being set back in his rehab by an emergency appendectomy, 6 '10 Andrew Brackman will finally throw his first professional pitch tomorrow night for Waikiki in the Hawaii Winter Baseball League.

And how fitting that Brackman's debut comes in a week when the Yankees mourned the passing of Yankee Stadium and then the end to a 13-year playoff run that, more or less, kick-started auditions for the 2009 season, particularly the unpredictable starting rotation.

While the unofficial beginning may have launched on Wednesday night in righthander Phil Hughes' sizzling start against the Blue Jays, it's Brackman who strikes the opening salvo to the Yankees' offseason.

Of course, that he has not pitched since May 2007 places Brackman on the longshot list to crack the Yankees' Opening Day roster. But given the drama of the past summer with the big league rotation, Brackman could work his way into the picture at some point next year.

If his path sounds familiar, it is. Joba Chamberlain made his pro debut in Hawaii in 2006, and it was more or less the same that year for Ian Kennedy, who made one late-season start after signing before heading to the islands.

First, however, Brackman has much to prove, and not just to make up for lost time. The Yankees have tweaked his wind-up, incorporating a hands-over-the-head approach, and a changeup is now in Brackman's arsenal.

It could be an even more menacing approach from a pitcher who is a listed 6-foot-10, 240 pounds and was touching 96 mph in a recent intrasquad game.

"We want to see Brackman get his feet on the ground," farm director Mark Newman said, listing off a number of benchmarks the Yankees hope he meets, including getting a feel again for pitching and even changing speeds with his arsenal. "If he's doing that, we'll be happy. The competition's great, so the numbers won't mean a lot to us."



Category: MLB
Tags: Brackman
Posted on: March 12, 2008 2:39 pm

Cashman on Brackman

And how fortunate he feels that he fell all the way to the end of the 1st round:

"You saw what David Price did, right?" Cashman was saying Tuesday. "Well, up until April of last year, the question in the industry was who was going to be the No.1 pick, Price or Brackman.

"So as much as the talk was about Price that day, I was thinking, 'I can't wait until our guy has a chance to get out there and feature the stuff he has.' Because he was neck-and-neck with Price until he hurt his arm, and I believe we'll see that same kind of talent when he comes back."

For Cashman, Brackman could be the missing piece in an all-homegrown starting rotation for the ages by, say, 2010, along with Chien-Ming Wang, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Ian Kennedy.

"It will just take a little more of what we've been asking for around here," Cashman said. "And that's patience."

As it is, the early showings in spring training by Hughes and Kennedy, in particular, have made Cashman feel good about convincing Hank Steinbrenner to keep the kid pitchers rather than trade for Johan Santana.

The drafting of Brackman, meanwhile, was perhaps the ultimate example of Cashman's recent commitment to pursuing high-ceiling pitching talent. Similar conviction convinced the Yankees to draft Kennedy and Chamberlain in 2006 when other teams were scared off by injury concerns or performance dips.

Just as those two slipped in the draft, Brackman was available when the Yankees picked 26th only because he had injured his elbow a couple of months earlier. Until then his fastball had been clocked consistently around 97 mph, and he had a sharp-breaking knuckle-curve that made him all the more appealing, in addition to the type of athleticism that enabled him to play basketball at N.C. State for two seasons.

"He wasn't even on our radar until the injury because he was going to go so high," Cashman said. "That allowed us to have a chance, and we knew he'd probably need Tommy John surgery, but we've had a history of success with guys who had it done, and there's a 92% success rate with it throughout baseball, so we decided to go ahead and take him.



Category: MLB
Tags: Brackman
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