The New York Yankees considered themselves fortunate when they drafted the 6’10″ right-handed pitcher Andrew Brackman in the first round of the 2007 draft. He was expected to go much higher, but injury concerns caused him to fall to 30th overall.
He immediately had elbow surgery and didn’t pitch until 2009 in Low-A. That season he went 2-12 with an unimpressive 5.91 ERA. What the Yankees did see from him that year was a strong second half pitching out of the bullpen.
That gave them faith that they might still have a prospect in Brackman, but lead them to question whether he would be a starter or a reliever. They stuck with him in the rotation to start 2010 anyway and the move paid off.
Starting off with the High-A Tampa Yankees he wasn’t pitching deep into games and his ERA wasn’t exactly where they wanted it, but the Yankees looked past that. His left on base percentage was up, a sign of bad luck, and more importantly his walk rate was way down. His walk rate was 6.41 BB/9 in 2009, a totally unreasonable number, but with the Tampa Yankees it dropped to an impressive 1.35.
So after 12 games he received a promotion to Double-A Trenton. There he experienced a slight adjustment period. Overall his numbers in Double-A were good though, in 80.2 innings he had a 2.90 ERA, but his strikeout rate dropped and his walk rate increased to 3.35 BB/9.
What was important though is that after his adjustment period he finished the season very strong. In five games in August he had a 1.35 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 26.2 innings. His 10 walks during the month were a little bit troubling though. That’s two consecutive years in a row he finished off the season very strong.
Still not quite 25-years-old, 2011 will be a big year for Brackman. He could potentially start the season in Triple-A Scranton. The Yankees will try not to rush him, but if he can dominate at that level it will be hard for them not to give him a shot at the majors. He also is already on the 40-man roster making it easier for the Yankees to call him up. At the very least he should be a September call-up.
Here are his minor league stats: