Saturday, January 12, 2008

#9 Prospect: Andrew Brackman

Age: 22

Height: 6'10"

Weight: 230 lbs

Position: Starting Pitcher, Right Handed

Andrew Brackman was the Yankees' first selection with the 30th overall pick in the 2007 MLB Draft. Brackman spent his collegiate career at NC State, where he was a dual sport athlete for the Wolfpack, playing on the basketball team and pitching for the baseball team. After his sophmore season at NC State, Brackman decided to dedicate his time to baseball and from the looks of it, he made a good choice. A-Brack signed a 4.5 million dollar contract with a 3.3 million dollar signing bonus.

Brackman was a standout athlete at Moeller High School in Cincinnati. He led his baseball team to the Ohio State Chamionship game as a senior with a 1.04 ERA and was also named the fourth best prospect in Ohio by Baseball America. Brackman was also a dominant force on the basketball court, averaging 20 points and 6.5 rebounds a game. He was the runner up for the Mr. Basketball Award in Ohio but won Ohio's Division I Player of the Year honors.

Brackman uses his large, powerful frame to pound the zone with blistering heat. Brackman comfortably sits at 92-97 mph and can easily pump it up to 99 mph. His four seam fastball(thanks to his tall frame) has a great downward plane and his two seamer has "plus life" to it. Brackman also throws a spike knuckle curve. A true plus pitch, this is Brackman's primary strikeout pitch which is said to be a devastating offering. Brackman's third offering is a change-up which is average right now but also has the potential to be a plus pitch.

Brackman was a risky pick by the Yankees due to his injury issues but the sky is the limit for A-Brack. While he isn't a very polished pitcher, his stuff, his stature, and his athleticism make him a top tier prospect with the potential to be one of the most dominating pitchers in the game. I truly believe that with the help of Nardi Contreras and a lot of hard work, he can become a dominating force in the majors. Tommy John has a very high success rate now and most pitchers come back throwing even harder. This surgery could help Brackman more than hinder him since he seems so eager to hit the 100 mph mark, a feat he has never accomplished. Hopefully Brackman reaches his potential because he is a once in a life time talent.

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