The Phillies seem to like left-handers out of Northwestern University. Brauer was the second Northwestern lefty drafted by the Phillies in the last three years with the first being J.A. Happ who has done very well in the Phillies minor league system. While Brauer isn't thought to have the potential that Happ has already shown, he figures to be a good pitcher for the Phillies if his development goes as they hope. One concern was whether Brauer would recover from shoulder surgery that forced him to miss the entire 2005 season. He showed that he was healthy by picking up Big Ten Pitcher of the Year honors in 2006, thanks in part to throwing a no-hitter against Michigan State.
Dan Brauer's career stats
Acquired: Drafted in the 6th round of the 2006 Draft out of Northwestern University.
Repertoire: Brauer has a solid curve which he is learning to throw for strikes. His fastball right now is average, but if he develops a little more velocity and/or movement on the pitch, it will be enough to get him by. His change-up is average at best and he doesn't disguise it as well as he'll need to in order to get more experienced hitters out.
Pitching: The Phillies did a little work on Brauer's mechanics and it paid off in helping him to throw strikes. If his change-up gets better, he'll likely stick as a starter but if not, his future will probably be in the bullpen. Since he's shown that he's healthy the Phillies believe that he can handle working as either a starter or reliever. They love the way he keeps the ball down in the zone as evidenced by the fact that he allowed just two home runs in 63 innings last season as a pro. He made a quick jump from Batavia to Lakewood, but did struggle with the BlueClaws in eight innings of work.
Projection: Daniel Brauer has the potential to be a top-of-the rotation pitcher if all goes well. He's going to have to improve his change-up and add a couple more miles-per-hour to his fastball to reach that lofty spot though. He'll probably start the season at Lakewood and will have more success at that level once he settles in better at that level. He wasn't ready for the jump last season, but will grow into the job at Lakewood since he's got the talent to succeed. He's also a hard worker and will pick up everything the coaches can give him to improve.