Can Brackman Turn It Around?

From Ben Shpigel:

They still see him as a top-of-the-rotation force but, because of his unusual past, also as someone who must be evaluated differently from his peers.

A basketball career at North Carolina State and reconstructive elbow surgery, nine days after the Yankees signed him as a first-round pick in August 2007, curbed Brackman’s innings count in college and winter ball to 184 1/3 before he made his debut last season for Charleston.

“We weren’t surprised that he had these growing pains,” said Mark Newman, the Yankees’ senior vice president for baseball operations. “We knew that going in. Where we draft, we don’t get opportunities for guys like Andrew, who’s a heck of an athlete and has an incredible arm. That’s what’s so attractive about him.”

I think it is a bit early for Yankee fans to be throwing the “bust” word around when talking about Brackman. Make no mistake, he had an atrocious season, both in terms of process and in regard to his results. 2-12 with a 5.91 ERA cannot be rationalized away, and Brackman’s prospect status certainly took a major hit. His only success came out of the bullpen in the final month of the season, but the Yankees did not draft Brackman in the first round to be an ace reliever. They picked him to be an ace, and right now that is looking fairly unlikely.

All that said, I believe that bolded sentence is the most important of the entire piece, and one that Yankees fans should pay heed to when thinking about Brackman. Brackman had very little college or pro experience coming into this past season, and was coming off major reconstructive surgery. Last season was more about staying healthy and simply pitching than numbers and results. Now, the Yankees certainly would have preferred if his mechanics would not have gotten so far out of whack so as to require that they be entirely rebuilt, but that sort of setback is not entirely unpredictable for a 6 foot 10 inch pitcher returning from major injury. He is simply not your typical prospect that can be evaluated based upon the same time frames as other pitchers.

2010 is an important season for Andrew Brackman. He has had enough distance from his surgery, has had his delivery reinvented by Nardi Contreras, and will be given every opportunity to succeed by the Yankees. He is not yet a bust, and there is still hope. But it is time for Brackman to turn his potential into results.

0 thoughts on “Can Brackman Turn It Around?

  1. rooster

    Fairly unlikely should say incomplete instead until after this upcoming season imo.

  2. EJ Fagan

    I said before the season that I would be happy is Brackman stayed healthy enough to reach his innings limit, no matter what else he did. I stand by that.

    In his 2010 season, I want to see Brackman kick some ass. I think there’s a pretty good chance that we’ll see just that.

  3. BrackisBackintheknow!

    There is one thing many of you are missing. This kid always rises to his level of competition. I witnessed Brack beat SMOTLZ last season when J.S. was coming off an injury. It was incredible game. After 5 ininnings the score was 1-0 Riverdogs and both pitchers were removed from the game..

  4. For a 6′ 10″ pitcher coming back from surgery and little real experience, he should be given more time. Most of the good very tall pitchers don’t put it together until their med to late 20s, therefore I am not going to pass judgement on him until he gets a lot more work.

  5. -Leftylarry

    Why would anyone use the bust word when he finished so strong? Silly.

  6. Matt Imbrogno

    EJ Fagan: I said before the season that I would be happy is Brackman stayed healthy enough to reach his innings limit, no matter what else he did. I stand by that.
    In his 2010 season, I want to see Brackman kick some ass. I think there’s a pretty good chance that we’ll see just that.  

    Bingo. For Brackman, 2009 was about health. 2010 is about results. Go get ‘em, big guy.