36. Sean Brady – Left-handed Pitcher
Born: 06/09/1994 – Height: 6’0” – Weight: 175 – Bats: Left – Throws: Left
Facts & Info: Brady was selected in the 5th round of the 2013 Draft out of Ida S Baker High School (FL) and signed for $800,000. He had a commitment to attend and play baseball at the University of Florida had he not signed with the Indians. He had an incredible senior season in high school where he went 7-1 with a 0.68 ERA and racked up 104 strikeouts in 51.2 innings, he was named the Fort Myers News-Press All-Area Baseball Player of the Year and was also named the Florida Athletic Coaches Association District 18 Most Valuable Player. Last season, he finished 1st in the Carolina League in wins (12), 5th in games started (25), 2nd in innings pitched (145.1) and 6th in strikeouts (118).
Stuff: Brady is a smaller sized lefty with a strong and compact frame who has some solid average stuff across the board. He pounds the zone with a three pitch mix and commands all of them well. He features an 87-91 MPH average two-seam fastball that occasionally will flash 92-93 MPH, and has the potential to see an uptick or two to both his average and top end velocity as he adds more strength and refines his mechanics. He throws a ton of strikes with his fastball and locates it well to the bottom of the zone, and has a lot of trust and confidence in throwing it on the plate. His best pitch is a plus curveball that sits in the upper 70s and shows a lot of polish with some good shape and sharp break that makes it a good wipeout pitch to lefties. He mixes in a developing changeup that is still a work in progress, and has shown flashes of becoming an average offering for him.
Delivery & Intangibles: Brady has a good delivery with some clean arm action to it that he repeats well. He’s not a stuff pitcher, but is a strike thrower who has some off the charts pitchability that results in a lot of consistent outings. He’s a pitch-to-contact pitcher who likes to work efficiently and get groundballs, so often times he is at the mercy of his defense and the baseball gods, but no matter what he never stops competing and just keeps getting after it. He is very tough minded which allows him to maintain his poise when he is in a jam, handle any situation well and not let the game speed up on him regardless of what is happening around him. He has an exceptional makeup and really trusts the process with a good overall understanding of who he is and what he needs to do to improve. His work ethic is unmatched and he has an unbelievable approach to his routines and preparations that allow him to have consistent success.
Focus: Brady struggled right from the outset last season as he had a tough spring training and start to the season because his delivery was out of whack. He was proactive in seeking out help from coaches and they made some adjustments to limit the amount of cross-fire he had in his delivery where he tended to get across his body upon release and lose his direction to the plate which resulted in his pitches flattening out over the zone. The Indians worked with him to line up his delivery a little better and got him better on line which allowed him to use his lower half more efficiently and leverage the ball downhill with more consistency. It took a little bit of time to get comfortable with his delivery adjustment, but once he started to get comfortable with it he started to take off. Also, by getting him to have better drive off his back leg and be more in line it helped him be even more consistent and stronger with his stuff and led to an improved two-seamer and sharper breaking ball. The Indians would like to see him be more consistent with those delivery adjustments this season and feel it will lead to some improvements in his stuff, delivery and overall performance. He worked on the grip of his changeup last season and found one that he liked and showed some good improvement with the pitch, so now they would like to see him command it better to the bottom of the zone. They also came up with a slider-cutter hybrid which they feel will help keep right-handers more honest if he can be a little more consistent with the command and location of it. They would like him to be a little more efficient with his pitch counts by being more aggressive in attacking hitters when he gets to two strikes on them to get a groundball or strikeout and not have the at bat carry out for several more pitches because he is trying to be too fine around the zone.
Future: While Brady’s overall stat line from last season is less than appealing, a deeper look into his numbers show he actually did well and showed improvement over the course of the season. He struggled with consistency in the first half of the season with a 5.43 ERA and 1.19 groundball to fly ball ratio with a 3.4 BB/9 and 6.6 K/9 in 13 starts, but in the second half he was much better with a 4.52 ERA and 1.60 groundball to fly ball ratio with a 2.4 BB/9 and 8.0 K/9 in 12 starts. He also put forth a 3.92 FIP last season, which is right in line with the 3.69 FIP he had at rookie level Arizona in 2013, the 3.79 FIP he had at Short-A Mahoning Valley in 2014 and the 3.75 FIP he had at Low-A Lake County in 2015. It is that consistency from year to year along with his very good durability over his first four pro seasons which creates the most interest in him. There are some in the industry who compare him to a lighter version of Mark Buerhle because of his feel for pitching, body type, efficiency and good overall command. He has a long way to go before he can live up to that kind of projection, but it shows what some think he is capable of becoming if he puts it all together and can maintain consistency. He should open the season in the rotation at Double-A Akron.
Ranking History: #27 (2016), #25 (2015), #24 (2014)