- Full name Andrew Warren Brackman
- Born 12/04/1985 in Cincinnati, OH
- Profile Ht.: 6'10" / Wt.: 230 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School North Carolina State
- Debut 09/22/2011
Drafted in the 1st round (30th overall) by the New York Yankees in 2007 (signed for $3,350,000).
View Draft ReportAs an awkward 6-foot-7 16-year-old at Cincinnati's Moeller High, Brackman wasn't considered a top 50 prospect in baseball or basketball. His basketball game blossomed as a senior, and when N.C. State offered him a chance to play both sports, he eagerly accepted. A bout with tendinitis assured he wouldn't be drafted highly enough out of high school to buy him out of college, and after giving up basketball as a sophomore (he had thrown just 77 innings in his first two years at N.C. State), he's begun to come into this own. Now a legitimate 6-foot-10, 240 pounds, his upside is considerable. His athleticism helps him repeat his delivery, but he struggles with his balance and release point, leading to erratic command, especially of his secondary stuff. He touched 99 mph in the Cape Cod League in 2006 and again during an early-season outing in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and he pitches at 94 with exceptional plane. His mid-80s spike-curveball is filthy. Brackman's changeup was the pitch that had improved the most this spring, and grades as a third potential plus offering. He's still unrefined, but even without the polish, Brackman shouldn't slide out of the top 10 picks.
Organization Prospect Rankings
A basketball and baseball player at North Carolina State, Brackman signed a stunning major league contract in 2007 that included a $3.35 million bonus, $4.55 million in guaranteed money and $13 million in potential total value. His development has been slowed by Tommy John surgery shortly after he signed, an appendectomy in 2008 and wildness in 2009. He got off to a poor start in 2010 as well before his delivery clicked after a promotion to Double-A. Brackman has good athleticism to go with his size, and he started to coordinate the moving parts of his delivery in 2010. When he did, he found the bottom of the strike zone more with his fastball, which jumped from 88-92 mph to 93-95 mph. His best pitch is a well above-average curveball with which he can vary the size, shape and velocity (72-81 mph). Brackman has added a nascent slider that shows potential and scrapes the upper 80s. He lacks confidence in his changeup and needs to pitch with more aggressiveness, considering his power stuff. For some scouts, Brackman's whole is less than the sum of his parts, earning comparisons to A.J. Burnett and Kyle Farnsworth. He just completed his second full pro season as a pitcher, however, and tantalized with his rapid improvement in 2010 and likely will get his first big league callup in 2011, probably as a reliever.
Brackman juggled basketball and baseball for two seasons at North Carolina State before giving up hoops to focus on the 2007 draft. Though he injured his elbow that May, his huge frame and ceiling enticed the Yankees to draft him 30th overall. He had Tommy John surgery shortly after signing at the Aug. 15 deadline for the largest draft bonus ($3.35 million) in franchise history, part of a major league contract worth a guaranteed $4.55 million and as much as $13 million with incentives. The elbow reconstruction, coupled with an appendectomy the following spring, pushed back his pro debut to Hawaii Winter Baseball in October 2008. The results from his first pro season were less than encouraging, . as he ranked second in the minors in wild pitches (26) and 13th in walks (76). though he did stay off the disabled list all season and closed with 10 scoreless, walkless relief innings and continued to throw strikes in instructional league. Brackman's combination of arm strength, size and athleticism can translate into premium stuff. His fastball, which touched 99 mph when he was an amateur, peaked at 95 when he started in 2009 and sat at 92-96 in shorter relief stints. His curveball also shows flashes of being a plus-plus pitch. In his first fully healthy year since Tommy John surgery, Brackman had little control and no command, however. He showed little feel for his delivery, or for using his curveball or rudimentary changeup. His late hot streak happened when the Yankees shelved his knuckle-curve, having him focus on a conventional grip, and his changeup. He'll need the changeup back to remain a starter. His velocity was unpredictable, at times sitting in the upper 80s. Brackman is a unique prospect in terms of his size, contract and lack of experience for his age. He could be an expensive bust, or suddenly figure it all out and move rapidly through the system. New York hasn't given up on him as a starter and will promote him to high Class A for 2010.
Brackman was a two-sport athlete at North Carolina State for two seasons but dropped basketball to concentrate on baseball as a junior. His 2007 season ended with elbow trouble in May, but the Yankees drafted him in the first round anyway. He had Tommy John surgery shortly after signing a guaranteed $4.55 million major league contract that could pay out as much as $13 million with incentives. Despite not having pitched in a competitive game since May 2007, Brackman opened the 2008 Hawaii Winter Baseball season with a 97 mph fastball. When he's right mechanically, he has two plus pitches--a 91-97 mph heater that has reached 100 in the past and a curveball. He throws two variations of his breaking ball, a conventional curve and a knuckle-curve. His athletic ability separates him from other tall pitchers in terms of aptitude and the ability to repeat his delivery. Brackman remains raw for his age, which wasn't helped by Tommy John surgery or an appendectomy that cost him any chance to pitch in the 2008 regular season. His mechanics can get out of sync easily. He's also just learning a changeup. Brackman has rust to shake off and hasn't really dominated since the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2006. Still, he has more upside than any Yankees farmhand and looks primed to break out when he makes his official pro debut in high Class A.
Brackman played both basketball and baseball at North Carolina State, averaging 7.6 points per game as a sophomore to help the Wolfpack reach the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16. After ranking as the top pitching prospect in the Cape Cod League in 2006, he gave up basketball to focus on baseball, but his junior season ended in May with an elbow injury. New York drafted him 30th overall anyway and signed him to a major league contract with a $3.35 million bonus--the biggest in franchise history for a draftee--and $4.55 million in total guarantees. With incentives, he could earn as much as $13 million. A premium athlete, Brackman has as high an upside as any player in the '07 draft class. He has reached 100 mph with his fastball, which generally sits at 94, and uses his size to drive it downhill. His filthy spike curveball can be a strikeout pitch and has the potential to be an 80 pitch on the 20-80 scouting scale. Brackman's elbow injury turned out to be a torn ligament, and he had Tommy John surgery immediately after signing in mid-August. He won't pitch in his first pro game until 2009, which is even more of a setback because he worked just 149 innings in three years at N.C. State. The Yankees are willing to wait on Brackman's upside. They believe he could become a No. 1 starter.
Minor League Top Prospects
It finally happened for Brackman, who signed a $4.55 million major league contract but had Tommy John surgery and struggled in Class A prior to his ascension to Trenton. He finished on a 5-3, 2.10 tear. Scouts long have respected Brackman's athletic ability, but the towering righthander finally got all the parts moving in the same direction this season. His fastball got better as the season went on, and often as games went on, from 89-92 mph to 93-95 in the middle innings of August starts. He pitches downhill and stays on top of his plus curveball, which he can throw for strikes or bury as a chase pitch. Brackman needs to use his fringy changeup more often to keep lefthanders honest. He still lacks consistency, and some scouts question his ability to be at his best in tight situations.
Brackman signed a guaranteed $4.55 million contract in 2007, but Tommy John surgery and an appendectomy delayed his pro debut for two years. He struggled to throw strikes in 2009 but got back on track this year in the FSL before finishing strong in Double-A. Brackman showed an 89-94 mph fastball and a power curveball in the FSL, giving him a pair of plus pitches on his best days. His mammoth wingspan gives him excellent angle on his pitches, making it seem to hitters as though the ball is coming down from Mount Everest. His changeup shows flashes of effectiveness but little consistency. Brackman's command still comes and goes, leading several scouts to believe he'll end up as a power reliever.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Curveball in the New York Yankees in 2011
- Rated Best Fastball in the New York Yankees in 2010
- Rated Best Fastball in the New York Yankees in 2009