Archive for Andrew Brackman

Late last night we got word that the Yankees had recalled 2007 first round pick Andrew Brackman, but the report turned out to be slightly incorrect. Yes, the team is summoning Brackman to the big leagues, but he will not be activated and will instead work out with the team and the coaches. Dellin Betances will be doing the same thing as well.

The Yanks have been doing this for years, with guys like Phil Hughes and Tyler Clippard going through the same thing. It just gives the kids a brief taste of the big league life before getting called up to pitch, whenever that may be. Good chance for Betances to Brackman to get their feet wet and get familiar with how things are done. Nothing wrong with that at all.

Update: Jesus Montero will be there as well. Awesome.

Categories : Asides, Minors
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12:22am: False alarm. Brackman himself confirmed to Josh Norris that he has not been called up, and as far as he knows the team has no intentions of promoting him this month either. Damn, that was exciting for a while.

10:54pm: Mark Feinsand says the team has denied the report and Brackman has not been called up. So much for that.

10:36pm: Via The Cincinnati Enquirer, the Yankees have recalled 2007 first rounder Andrew Brackman and will have him available tomorrow. Brackman, an Ohio native, threw 140.2 innings with High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton this year, posting an 8.1 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9. I wouldn’t expect him to pitch any since he’s close to 40 innings over last year’s total, but he’ll have a chance to soak everything in and see what goes on around the big league team. Considering everyone that called him a bust last year, this must feel rather good for the kid.

(FWIW, Moshe had it first)

Categories : Asides
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Just a couple of links to get you jump-started this Sunday afternoon.

  • Frank Piliere has a full scouting report on Andrew Brackman. The velocity seems to be there, and Piliere thinks that it’s the command of his curveball that will make the difference for Brackman.
  • David Ortiz complains about the strike zone. Players who twice strike out looking tend to do that.
  • Joel Sherman muses on three youngsters who could help out next season: Eduardo Nunez, Brandon Laird, and Jesus Montero. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nunez up in September. If they can muster a 40-man spot you might be able to say the same for Laird, who will have to hit the 40-man after the season anyway.
  • And finally, a little bit on Pedro Martinez, who won’t pitch this year. He thinks he has “a legit chance” at the Hall of Fame, which completely undersells his case. He’s a first balloter, no questions asked.
Categories : Links
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Apparently everyone in America has the day off except me, so here’s some links…

Send Swish!

One day into the Final Vote balloting, Nick Swisher is in the lead for the AL’s final All Star roster spot. Kevin Youkilis isn’t far behind him though, so we all have to make sure we go out and support Swish. The ballot can be found here, and you can vote as much as you want, there’s no limit. The polls close at 4pm ET this Thursday, and you can always click our little Send Swish! button on the sidebar to go to the ballot.

Mike Ashmore Chats With Andrew Brackman

Friend of RAB Mike Ashmore chatted with 2007 first round pick Andrew Brackman recently, and posted the results for all to see. The entire Q&A is worth the read, but I found the info about adjusting his mechanics and trying to add a changeup the most interesting. Brackman’s comments about basketball were interesting as well; he’s aware that he probably didn’t have a shot at the NBA, but going overseas was a very real possibility for him. Never considered that, though I’m not much of a basketball guy.

Getting Dominated By Mariano Rivera, Interactively

We’re probably the last site on the internet to link to this, but better late than never. The New York Times ran a great little video over the weekend about Mariano Rivera and what makes his cutter so effective. You’ve probably seen it already, but it’s definitely worth another watch or two. The accompanying article is worth the read as well.

The RAB Mailbag

Don’t forget to send in your mailbag questions throughout the week. Things seemed to go well and we got a lot of positive feedback to last week’s post, so it’s definitely something we’ll do again. Just email us via the links, or use the Submit A Tip box under The Montero Watch.

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Via Josh Norris, 2007 first rounder Andrew Brackman has been promoted to Double-A Trenton. The 6-foot-10 righthander has rebounded from a disastrous 2009 campaign to post a 2.84 ERA (eerily enough, also a 2.84 FIP) in his last eight starts (44.1 IP). More importantly, he’s walked just nine batters in 60 IP (1.35 BB/9) all season after walking 76 in 106.2 IP (6.41 BB/9) last year. He gets the ball tomorrow.

Congrats to Brackman, it’s great to see him improve so much as he gets further away from Tommy John surgery.

Categories : Asides, Minors
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Got some minor league links to pass along…

Yankees set to promote Brackman

Perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) development in the Yanks’ minor league system this year has been Andrew Brackman‘s breakout. Granted, we’re talking about seven starts here (39.1 IP, 33 H, 10 R, 9 ER, 6 BB, 41 K, ~2.00 GB/FB), but the scouting reports have been great, which is the most important thing. Joel Sherman says that the Yanks are set to promote Brackman from High-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton before the All Star break, which is less than a month away. If he’s truly on his way back to being an elite prospect, there’s no sense in holding him back. Great news.

Short Season Staten Island Yankees rosters

Robert Pimpsner tweeted the SI Yanks roster last night, which Greg Fertel was nice enough to round up in one spot. Outfielders Kelvin DeLeon, Ramon Flores, Eduardo Sosa, and Carlos Urena highlight the prospect crop, but Mikey O’Brien is the only significant piece on the pitching staff. Once more draft picks sign, the team with get a bit more exciting. Pretty surprising that Carmen Angelini isn’t on the roster. If he’s not on the Rookie level GCL squad, that means he’s been released. Boy was I wrong on him.

The SI Yanks kick their season off tomorrow with their annual home-and-home series against Brooklyn.

Stoneburner continues to open eyes

Aside from Brackman, Graham Stoneburner’s arrival as a legit power pitching prospect has been one of the biggest story lines of the 2010 minor league season. Kevin Goldstein reports today (sub. req’d) that “Stoneburner’s fastball and slider both rate as plus,” which doesn’t exactly jive with what we’ve heard from the Yanks. Pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras said last month that his slider was not even a big league average pitch, so who knows what to believe. Goldstein’s source could have seen Stoneburner on a good day, Nardi could have seen him on a bad one. Chances are the reality is somewhere in the middle.

Kahnle hopes to sign soon

Fifth round pick Tommy Kahnle said he hopes to sign with the Yankees soon, though he indicated that nothing is imminent. The hard throwing righty from Lynn University is one of several power college arms the Yanks drafted that projects to be a reliever down the road, something they surprisingly lack in the system.  I ranked him the tenth most important sign of the draft class, though I was kinda spit balling it.

Categories : Minors
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Your regularly scheduled DotF will be a little late tonight, so I’ll leave you some links to hold you over…

  • J.B. Cox is back. He struggled mightily after undergoing Tommy John surgery during the 2006-2007 offseason, and basically packed his bags and headed home to Texas last June to think about his future in baseball. Hopefully the time off rejuvenated his arm a bit and he can get back to being the strikeout/ground ball relief monster he was in 2006. It’s good to see J.B. back, he was always a personal fave.
  • Cox was assigned to High-A Tampa, taking the place of Adam Warren, who was placed on the 7-day disabled list. Apparently it’s nothing serious, more of an innings control kind of thing. He’s only scheduled to miss one start.
  • Andrew Brackman was reportedly sitting at 93 last night, touching 96 with his fastball. He’s also added a power slider to his repertoire, which registered as high as 87 yesterday. Kevin Goldstein backs those reports up (sub. req’d): “He’s been throwing an almost shocking number of strikes all season (7 BB in 55 IP), but his stuff is getting better and better, as the Yankees have put considerable work into nearly every aspect of his game and the results are finally showing up.  With a fastball suddenly getting up to 96 mph, two distinct breaking balls and a changeup, Brackman has allowed six runs over 29 innings in his last five starts while whiffing 34, and he’s back on the prospect map.”

The Yankees knew Brackman was going to be a long-term project when they drafted him in 2007, especially with Tommy John surgery on the immediate horizon. Now that he’s 20 or so months out from surgery, Brackman’s starting to come around and show everyone why he was so highly touted in the first place. It’s all about patience, people. If you don’t have any, don’t follow prospects.

Categories : Minors
Comments (35)
May
30

Hi-A prospects: Tampa

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This is the third installment of our four-part What’s going on with some of my favorite minor leaguers? series. Today, we head down south to Tampa, Florida, where the Hi-A Tampa Yankees might actually be the most popular baseball team in town, which is really actually kind of sad. (I know the Trop sucks and it’s a hassle to go to, but c’mon Tampa fans, please watch your team play baseball. They’re really good. /unrelated rant)

Tampa features the most intriguing pitching staff in the Yankee farm with Adam Warren, Andrew Brackman, Graham Stoneburner and fan-favorite Pat Venditte. Among hitters, only Bradley Suttle and Corban Joseph really stick out at you, although Melky Mesa is also a fairly well-known name. I know he’s a fun novelty item, but I just don’t see Venditte (or Mesa) as a real prospect, so the list will only include Warren, Brackman, Stoneburner, Suttle and Joseph. We’ll start with the hitters.

Hitters:

Bradley Suttle, 3B

Drafted as an above-slot bonus baby in the 4th round of the 2007 MLB draft, Suttle was known for two things – 1) He had a fantastic hit tool, maybe the best in that entire draft; and 2) he also happens to be this man in disguise:

Suttle, before practice in 2010.

Suttle has Type-1 diabetes. Since coming into the system, he’s been pretty up and down and his time has been largely marred by injury. In 2008 at Charleston he put up a line of .272/.345/.457. I wouldn’t call it a bad season, but it’s not eye-catching either. You’d ideally like a bit more out of a guy considered by many to be the best pure hitter in college coming out of the draft, but he didn’t totally struggle either. Still, it seems odd that a guy known for great plate discipline would notch 91 strikeouts and only 42 walks in 372 plate appearances.

But where Suttle really struggled was against southpaws – he hit .219/.323/.324 against them while at Charleston. For a guy without a great defensive reputation, with average power and mediocre athleticism, that sort of thing isn’t what moves you up the levels. Still, all things considered, Suttle had a fairly decent season.

But ut-oh! 2009 was entirely missed due to multiple shoulder injuries, including labrum surgery. Not great for a guy that might not have profiled as a 3B anyway. Arm strength is kind of critical. So we fast forward to 2010. On the year, Suttle is hitting .242/.306/.327. As you can see, he’s not hitting for any power but he’s also hitting 46% of balls into the ground. If you don’t have very good speed, you’re not going to see a lot of those fall in for hits. He’s also struck out 44 times in 165 AB’s and walked 16 times. That approach will get you nowhere if you don’t at least make solid contact when you do hit the ball. As I’ve said, he doesn’t. But there are some bright spots. He’s hitting left-handers better this year at .317/.344/.362 but that’s also aided by a BABip of .404. Considering his age at the level, the injury issues and the regression in on-base skills, it’s hard to see Suttle going much further. Hopefully he’s still feeling the ill-effects of surgery and will bounce back and at least show off great hitting skills.

2010 season at Hi-A: .242/.306/.327

Last ten games: .206/.293/.206

Corban Joseph, 2B:

Corban Joseph Multi-Pass was the Yankees’ fourth-round pick of the 2008 draft. Originally drafted as a shorstop, it seems most people didn’t believe he could stay there, including the Yankees, who moved him to second base. He also rated negatively (per Total Zone on B-Ref) at Charleston in a limited sample, but he it’s unlikely he’d develop the power to play at a corner, so 2nd would likely be a position he’ll have to pick up to move up and be a big-league player at some point. But he was solid at the hot corner, so maybe the team would direct him along the path of Kevin Russo. Who knows.

Now, that said, CoJo can hit. Last year in Charleston he was one of the more consistent hitters, throwing a line up of .300/.381/.418. He had a line drive rate of 25% and was pretty even with his strikeouts to walks ratio (61/49). He did have a crazy-high BABip over the last few months which made up for early season struggles, so it really was a tale of two seasons. So what has 2010 looked like for the Tennessee native?

He’s again one of the better hitters on the team and still a young player at 21. He’s hitting .303/.354/.415 and has two home runs on the year. I don’t know how his defense has been on the season, but his stick has again been very solid. He’s really the only hitter I can see on the Tampa team realistically continuing to move up with a real shot in the show. At this rate anyway. Still, the defense will have to really improve.

2010 season at Hi-A: .300/.381/.418

Last ten games: .343/.425/.371

Pitchers

Adam Warren, SP

What can I say about Adam Warren that hasn’t already been said? The dude has just been straight rolling though Hi-A hitters. It’s not even fair. Selected out of the University of North Carolina (go Heels!) in the 4th round of the 2009 draft, Warren should be a guy that advances quickly. He was a polished college senior, had an uptick of velocity (hitting 96) and has the potential to impact the big club possibly as early as 2011. Last year at Staten Island he ran over New York Penn League hitters, holding them with an ERA of 1.43 and solid peripherals.

In Tampa, he’s thrown 54 innings with just 14 walks and has registered 40 strikeouts. Batters are hitting .235 against him, which jumped considerably due to a poor outing on Friday. Per MILBSPLITS, Warren has gotten tons of groundballs (60%) and has kept the ball in the park (3% HR/FB ratio). I’m not sold that will look the same in Trenton, but there’s nothing it seems Warren needs to learn here at Hi-A. Expect to see him in lovely Trenton very shortly. If anyone knows how his velocity has been and the look of his secondary pitches this year, please let me know. As you can see by his last two starts, he finally ran into some trouble this year. Hey, it happens. He was lopped for 5 runs in less than three innings before exiting the game. No biggie. He’ll be fine.

2010 season at Hi-A: 54 IP, 2.67 ERA, 48 hits, 18 runs, 40 K, 14 BB, 2.43 GB/AA

Last two starts: 7.2 IP, 7.83 ERA, 8 hits, 6 Runs, 3 K, 0BB

Andrew Brackman.

Andrew Brackman, SP

Maybe one of the more hated prospects in the Yankee system, Andrew Brackman has had a strange season thus far. Signed as a classic bust/boom player as the Yankees’ 1st round pick in 2007, I don’t think anyone really expected what they saw out of him last year. Plagued with wildness and diminished stuff last season, he needed to show some positive signs of development this year. And he has. Brackmonster started the season off as we saw him in the throes of last year: 20 runs in 16.2 innings. Still, despite the crazy amount of runs, he walked one batter in that time frame. I can’t begin to tell you how unbelievable that is.

And check this out: he’s gotten much, much better since that bad stretch. Brackman has had only one start since then in which he’s given up more than one run. The walks are still minuscule at 5(!) in 38 innings and he’s notched 29 strikeouts this year. That’s pretty good. But the weird thing is it hasn’t fallen in with his scouting report. Kevin Goldstein reported that he’s been in the low-90’s (touching 94) with bad breaking balls. I don’t quite know how someone is able to put numbers up like this with two bad breaking balls and a fastball in the low 90’s, so I’m thinking maybe Goldstein saw him earlier in the season when he was getting bombed.

In May, which sandwiched a few rough starts with the rest of his good starts, Brackmonster has gotten hitters to ground out in 58% of at bats, his FIP is a crisp 3.24 and he wasn’t getting battered by a BABip of .455 like he did in April. Yeah, .455. Wow! I’m not going to say he pitched very well in April, but that’s an unbelievably high BABip, even in the minors. His FIP in April, after all, was only 4.20. He really wasn’t as bad as the box score would indicate.

The stuff is perhaps more important than the results. If Brackman is hitting 96 with his nasty hammer curve (two pitches that once hit 80 on the scale), I’d rather have that than weak stuff but solid results. Andrew Brackman just isn’t a prospect without a great fastball and breaking ball. At best he becomes John Rausch, who while a productive baseball player with similar size, relies on control. Andrew Brackman has never featured that. It’s totally possible he could, but I wonder how far he could get without great stuff. I’m hoping he’ll regain that velocity and feel for his curve. If Brackman does develop (a huge if), that’s easily the best pitcher in the system in terms of talent. Definitely my favorite guy to watch not named Jesus.

2010 Hi-A season:

38 IP, 5.92 ERA, 48 hits, 28 runs, 29 K, 5BB

Last two starts: 12 IP, 0.83 ERA, 9 hits, 1 run, 9 K, 2 BB

Graham Stoneburner, SP

One of the overslot signings of the 2009 draft, Stoneburner, featuring a plus-name and a lot of potential, has unequivocally been one of the best pitchers in the Yankee farm this season. You may remember he started the year in Charleston, where he stole batters’ lunch money and did donuts in the faculty parking lot. He brutalized them until being promoted in mid-May. How’s he looked in his promotion?

Well, there’s such a thing as a free lunch still in Tampa. Stoneburner, in 22 innings, has an ERA of 3.68 and has struck out 24. He does have 10 walks and had two very sharp starts and two rocky outings, so the consistency is not quite completely there at Tampa. In Charleston he was able to use his heavy sinking fastball to register a GB% of 55% and it’s particularly high against righties. Lefties seem to fare better against Stoneburner. In Tampa they’ve racked up 7 runs in 9.2 innings and 8 walks. That’ll need to improve but there’s a lot to like about Stoneburner’s hot start this year. He has a great arm and he continues to rack up strikeouts and limit walks. Spare a couple poor outings, Stoneburner’s been unreal this season. He might end up a reliever if his breaking balls don’t fully develop, but even in that role, he could be a good one. And one that rises quickly.

2010 Hi-A season:

22 IP, 3.68 ERA, 11 hits, 9 runs, 24 K, 10 BB

Last two starts: 12 IP, 2.50 ERA, 6 hits, 3 runs, 13 K, 4 BB

Ok folks, that’s all from Tampa. When I get back from vacation we’ll do Charleston. You can check out some of my other work at http://www.mystiqueandaura.com/

Categories : Minors
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In early 2007, just as RAB came on the scene, Andrew Brackman dominated draft talk. He was a projected Top 5 pick, and with good reason. The 6’10” dual-sport player sported not only a mid-90s fastball, but a curveball to go with it. He was raw at the time, having thrown only 70 college innings, but the potential was certainly there. He probably would have gone Top 5, too, if there hadn’t been injury concerns during his final college season that led to him sitting out games towards the end. The pre-draft rumors had him needing Tommy John surgery, so down the first round he slipped.


Photo credit: AP/Julie Jacobson

The Yankees, picking at No. 30 after a huge 2006 season, jumped on Brackman. Of course, they probably preferred Rick Porcello, who also tumbled through the first round, but the Tigers took him two picks prior. So the Yankees, seeing no one with nearly the ceiling of Brackman left on the board, took the plunge. It took a major league deal and a year of waiting for him to recover from TJS, but at the start of 2009 Brackman looked ready to start his professional career.

His first season, as we saw, did not go very well. Through his first 19 starts he pitched just 85.2 innings, or about 4.5 innings per start. His 6.72 ERA was certainly a concern, but not nearly as big as his 6.72 BB/9. In June and July he had more walks than innings pitched. A conversion to the bullpen in late July seemed to help, as Brackman’s final 21 innings went a bit better, as he allowed 17 hits and walked 12 to 24 strikeouts.

Now Brackman faces a huge challenge. As he moves up the ladder to Advanced-A Tampa, he must prove that he’s made adjustments. The Times’s new Yankees beat writer Ben Shpigel profiles Brackman, talking to Charleston pitching coach Jeff Ware in addition to farm director Mark Newman and the pitcher himself. They talk about comfort level and how Brackman might have been overthinking his mechanics. As Pitching guru Nardi Contreras said, “everything was out of whack.” Sounds about right.

Chances are, Brackman won’t turn into the ace pitcher the Yankees envisioned in 2007. That’s not just because of his problems last season, though. A pitcher like Brackman presents an enormous gamble, and those high-risk, high-reward moves have a bigger chance of busting than not. The Yankees wanted to take the risk, wanted the upside of a Top 5 pick, knowing they might not get one for another decade or two. It’s easy to look back and say the Yanks messed up, but I think they made the right call back in 07.

Categories : Minors
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Baseball America posted their top ten Yankee prospects today, and predictably Jesus Montero topped the list. Austin Romine and Arodys Vizcaino rounded out the top three. Four of the ten players are backstops.

In the subscriber only scouting report, Montero is said to have improved his defense behind the plate, however he’s still a below average defender. More importantly, they said he “hasn’t delivered completely on his raw power, but he’s close to projecting as an 80 hitter with 80 power on the 20-80 scouting scale.” That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Andrew Brackman, who still managed to crack the top ten, was said to have regained some command in Instructional League. Good news.

Categories : Asides, Minors
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