Date/Location of Birth: December 4, 1985 in Cincinnati, Ohio
Height/Weight: 6'10", 230 pounds
Position: Starting Pitcher
Andrew Brackman was drafted by the New York Yankees with the 30th pick in the first round of the 2007 Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft. He received a 4 year, $4.55MM Major League contract with a $3.35MM signing bonus. Here are the details on the contract. It gets a bit confusing due to the fact that he has a Major League deal, but Mike Axisa breaks it down nicely.
After getting drafted and signed, Brackman needed Tommy John Surgery, which forced him to miss the rest of the 2007 season and all of 2008.
Pro Career: Ready to go after surgery, 2009 did not treat Brackman kindly. Rated the number 92 prospect by Baseball America before making his professional debut, Brackman did not live up to his hype. He spent the entire season pitching for Charleston in the Sally league, and finished the year 2-12 with a 5.91 ERA with 106.2 innings pitched. His 8.7 K/9 were strong, but his other peripherals were not: 1.706 WHIP, 6.4 BB/9, 1.36 K/BB. However, a 4.66 FIP made things look a bit better, and it is important to remember that this was his first year pitching after major surgery.
Following the season, Brackman lost top prospect status, but began 2010 at High-A Tampa. His 5.10 ERA was still not very good, but a 3.12 FIP showed that he was pitching better than his numbers suggested. His 8.4 K/9 was very strong, and his BB/9 improved immensely to 1.35. After 60 innings, he was promoted to AA Trenton, where he pitched to a 2.90 ERA and a 3.32 FIP in 80.2 innings. His final 2010 line: 3.90 ERA, 140.2 innings, 1.301 WHIP, 8.1 K/9, 2.5 BB/9.
After his breakout campaign, Brackman was again rated among the game's best 100 prospects, this time at number 78 by Baseball America. He is currently at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and not pitching the way the organization has hoped. His ERA is 6.69 and his FIP is 6.00. Additionally, his BB/9 have reverted toward 2009 territory. Even more alarming is his diminished K/9, which currently stands at 6.2. The sample size is small, as he has only thrown 35 innings, but the numbers do not look good right now.
Scouting Report: Given Brackman's recent struggles, I tried to find an up to date scouting report, but the most recent ones came during Spring Training. Here is a link to Frankie Pilliere's report on Brackman, which breaks down his mechanics, fastball, curveball, and changeup. He seems to be pretty high on the right hander:
Given the progress I've seen from last year to spring training to now, I'd have to say that the righty has shown the ability to improve rapidly. He now shows solid command in the strike zone, a smooth and rather effortless over-the-top delivery, and the dynamic arsenal of a top-of-the-rotation starter. If given the time and patience to develop, he now has all the ingredients needed to make an elite big league starter. Again, there is much work to be done, but Brackman now is much more than just a guy you can dream on, and instead is a pitcher making outstanding progress.
Most reports indicate that Brackman needs polish, mainly due to his injuries and former basketball career. With time, he could turn into a very solid player.
Estimated Time of Arrival: Before the season, I would have guessed that Brackman's ETA was mid-2011. Now, given his struggles, I think he will end up in the Bronx as a September call up. His power stuff will work well out of the bullpen. However, given his contract, the Yankees may want to keep him in the minors for the entire 2011 season in order to keep him under team control.
Special thanks to Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, Mike Axisa, and Frankie Pilliere for helping me write this prospect profile.