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Friday, June 08, 2007

Yankee Draft Analysis - Round 1

The Yankees went big with the first pick. Big upside, big risk, big kid.

They drafted the 6'10" Andrew Brackman from NC State. He throws his two-seamer at about 94-95 and can get his four-seamer up to 99. He also throws a spike-curve that has been described as "filthy". At 6'10", he cuts an imposing figure on the mound and has excellent athleticism for his size, having played basketball at NC State as well (click here to see him get dunked on big time in a game against UNC). This typically indicates that he'll be athletic enough to repeat his delivery and control his pitches. He has as good collection of pitches as anyone in the draft. His projectable "ceiling" is as a #1 or #2 pitcher.

So, why the hell were the Yankees able to get him in the 30th pick of the first round?

Three reasons. Inconsistent performance, rumors of elbow issues and Scott Boras.

His performance this year was up and down. His coaches have said that at times he was the "most dominant pitcher they'd ever seen". Other times, he'd struggle. It's possible that it's because this year is the first year he's focused on baseball and not played basketball. He's still raw and consistency may come with experience.

There were tons of rumors that Brackman has an elbow injury and may require Tommy John surgery. This would cause him to drop, realistically, as few teams can pay a guy big bucks and then wait a year for him to be able to pitch. The recovery rate for Tommy John is very very high these days so this risk is more short term than long. Had this been rumors of a shoulder injury, the risk would be much higher. The Yankees can take this risk and wait if needed.

Lastly, Scott Boras is his agent. He's famous for holding his guys out and having them pitch in the independent league (see, Stephen Drew and Luke Hochevar) and then throwing them back in the draft the following year if the team doesn't meet his price. Again, with the Yankees $$$, that shouldn't be a problem.

I think the pick is very risky, but the potential of this kid is huge. He really can be an Ace if all things follow to plan and that's what you want out of your first pick. I trust that the Yanks will get a deal done relatively quickly. Under the new Cashmoney-really-in-charge regime, they have been all about spending on the farm team. He'll slide in next to Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Dellin Betances as Yankee farmhands with ace potential.

But that's not even the best part (behind a paid subscription).

PinstripesPlus: Well why the Yankees? Why did you want to be a part of the Yankees so bad?

Brackman: Growing up in Cincinnati, I was born into being a Reds fan. But I would always have the Yankees hats and people would always say, 'why are you wearing that Yankees hat?'. There's always some haters out there that don't like the Yankees and I'd always say, 'what not to like, they're the best team in baseball'. That was always my answer. I never dreamed of playing for the Yankees or anything like that, but once I heard my name called, it was exciting. I hugged my mom, I had hugged my dad and my uncle - I can't even explain how I felt.

Gotta love it! The kid's already spent his youth telling Yankee Haters to stick it! He's the un-Schilling! You have gotten yourself at least one big time fan here! Get used to the haters, kid. They'll only get larger in number and dumber.