Andrew Brackman Scouting Report (2009)
Andrew Brackman is arguably the most discussed 1-11 pitcher in minor league baseball over the past decade, if not more. With a 6.70 ERA and 1.78 WHIP, Brackman is closer to the unemployment line than New York and many are now wondering what the hype was about in the first place. On the evening I watched him pitch, Baseball America covered the appearance as well. B.A. reported Brackman at 92-95 MPH with his fastball, but I simply didn’t see it. What I did see was a much different player than I imagined. Brackman was a finesse pitcher in a power pitcher’s body. Even during one of Brackman’s finest outings, his all-around game was extremely raw and unrefined for a 24-year old.
Physique and Athleticism – A towering presence, Brackman is extremely athletic for his size. A former college basketball player, his mechanics were surprisingly fluid, but the numbers would indicate significant difficulty repeating his delivery; Typical of a pitcher of extreme height. Even at 240 lbs., Brackman was rail thin and looked as if he could stand to add another thirty or so pounds.
Mound Presence – In expecting an intimidating presence, Brackman’s demeanor disappointed me quite a bit. He mixed his fastball and curve ball successfully when things were going well, but relied almost exclusively on his breaking ball when in trouble and shied away from attacking opposing hitters. At one point, he gave up a home run to Mets prospect Sean Ratliff and proceeded to throw 70% breaking balls for the next two to three innings. In my mind, a 6’11”, 24-year old pitcher in full season A ball should be attacking nine-hole hitters and knocking the bat out of their hands, not throwing three consecutive breaking balls away. During this appearance, the results were there, but Brackman was far from the force I was sure to see based on what I had read.
Fastball – A solid, but not overpowering pitch at 89-91. Brackman’s fastball topped out at 93. He threw the pitch for strikes, but In key situations, he rarely threw the pitch and worked almost exclusively off his curve ball. His top end velocity was not enough to work successfully up in the zone as Ratliff made him pay on a couple of occasional occasions when Brackman tried to sneak the pitch by him. I also expected to see the ball explode out of his hand which it did not. While he is reported to be able to get the pitch up into the high 90’s, I didn’t see anything other than size which would make me believe the reported spikes were anything more than speculation.
Curveball – Easily his best pitch, he threw the pitch at two speeds. A harder curve with more bite was used frequently as both an out pitch, and to get ahead early in the count. Flashing plus, the curve ball was simply too much for hitters at this level as he made Mets prospects Wilmer Flores and Jefry Marte look silly.. He also mixed in a 71-72 MPH curve as a change of pace offering which featured a bigger, slower break.
Changeup – Used rarely, the pitch was left up in the zone early, but improved as the game went on. At around 78 MPH, the pitch could be an average offering in the future, but lagged far behind his fastball/curve ball combination. When listening to my voice recorded notes, I made the comment, “There’s something unsettling about a 6’10” finesse pitcher.” After a couple of months to reflect on his outing and see a number of his counterparts, my opinion has changed little.
In person, it’s easy to get excited about his size and two pitch mix, but then I remembered he’s a 24-year old college pitcher and former first round pick. At best, Brackman looks like a middle reliever/swing man. At worst, he will have a great future as house painter as I’m sure he can get to all those hard to reach places. Currently, Brackman is little more than another significantly over-hyped prospect whose ability simply does not match what has been written.
19 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
Tags: White Sox
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
The Best Of RS
- Can Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez Crack the Texas Rangers Opening Day Rotation?
- Fantasy Baseball Trade Deadline 101: A Former MLB GM’s Take
- Felix Hernandez and Solo Home Run Situations: A Blueprint For Longevity
- JR Graham: Is He Still An MLB Arm For The Atlanta Braves?
- Mason Williams: Is It Time To Label Him A Bust For The Yankees?
- Mike Newman's Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted in 2014
- Nick Kingham Scouting Report (2014)
- Rangers Joey Gallo, Marlins Giancarlo Stanton And Strikeouts
- The ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast
- Top-10 Fantasy Baseball Prospects By Team
- Will Mike Moustakas Finally Put It Together Next Season?