PP 2004 Scouting Report: P, Charlie Isaacson

The New York Yankees selected right handed pitcher, Charlie Isaacson in the 29th round (876th Overall) of the 2002 amateur draft out of the University of Arkansas. He has come on to be a solid, and very flexible, pitcher in the organization and could be a fringe prospect to keep an eye on.

Vital Statistics
Name: Charlie Isaacson
Position: Pitcher
DOB: May 5, 1980
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 190
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Place of Residence: Overland Park, Kansas
How Acquired: The New York Yankees selected right handed pitcher Charlie Isaacson in the 29th (876th overall) of the 2002 amateur draft out of the University of Arkansas.

Charlie Isaacson enjoyed an outstanding college career at the University of Arkansas while also earning the reputation of being the best hurler on their staff. Even though Isaacson was only 6-7 in his senior year in college, he still impressed in many other statistical categories. Isaacson compiled a solid 3.84 ERA in his senior year over a span of 82.0 innings pitched and slowly became the ace of Arkansas' pitching staff in a less than outstanding team performance for the year. He was impressive enough during that season to draw several major league scouts to come to watch him pitch in a regional game in which Isaacson pitched against the Oklahoma Sooners. They were scattered about the stands behind home plate, watching every move that he made on the mound. When asked if he was affected by their presence at all, Isaacson said "I saw them, but I was focusing on (Oklahoma's) hitters and throwing strikes." Isaacson proved that he was not nervous or in any way affected by the scouts by putting together a very solid performance. He pitched 6 1/3 strong innings, giving up 4 runs on 11 hits. Isaacson admitted that he did not have his "A" game that day but the way that he was able to grind out a decent performance without his best stuff was a superb indicator for the scouts in attendance. It would end up to be a sign of good things to come as far as the grit and grind in the righthander's game.

Out of the scouts that attended that game back in 2002, it was obvious that the Yankees were well represented and were also incredibly impressed. When the draft rolled around in 2002, Isaacson was on the Yankee draft board and even though he was down the list quite a ways, the Yankees saw him as a solid selection for a 29th round pick. Shortly after he was drafted, Isaacson was assigned to play for the Yankees low A affiliate in Staten Island. The Yankee organization foresaw him as having a much bright future in a relief pitching role but also in a starting role as well. But they elected to slowly work him into a relief role for the 2002 season along with some starting pitching as well. The majority of his appearances were starts. He had pitched virtually his whole career as a starter and that is the way it would begin in the Yankee organization for Charlie Isaacson. In his first year in the organization, he had an amazing season, going 5-3 with an ERA of 2.54. Along with that, Isaacson also racked up 76 strikeouts in only 74 innings pitched while only giving up 57 hits.

For obvious reasons, Isaacson was promoted to Battle Creek to start the 2003 season. It was here, that the decision was made to convert Isaacson to a relief pitching role, at least for the time being. He adjusted nicely to his new role on the team. In his time with Battle Creek, he was nearly unhittable going 3-1 while posting a microscopic 0.54 ERA in 33.1 innings pitched. Isaacson also added 33 strikeouts and he only gave 2 earned runs while picking up 4 saves as well. Noticing how much success he was having with Battle Creek, the organization decided that, yet again, Isaacson would have to be promoted, and this time to High A Tampa.

He only pitched for a short time in Tampa in the 2003 season, but in this time Isaacson continued to shine. He compiled a 2.53 ERA in 7 games and also picked up another 4 saves. However, it was time for another change of scenery for the 23 year old Isaacson and this time he was heading all the way up to AA Trenton. For the first time in his young minor league career, he experienced some struggles when he was promoted to Trenton. Isaacson went 1-3 and posted an ugly 6.12 ERA in 14 appearances.

It seemed that in his time with Trenton, that Isaacson may have been slightly overmatched as it was a very big jump that he made after starting the season in Battle Creek. However, in 2004, he returned back to his true form of years past. But, the 24 year old would start his season in Tampa because the organization wanted his to keep him in some starting situations. And, did he ever perform up to par. Isaacson was superb as he went 4-4 in Tampa with a 3.63 ERA. He also was not hit very often even though his walk totals were only slightly too high. The righty gave up less than a hit per inning and also gave up under one home run per nine innings. It just goes to show you that he did not make too many mistakes in the strike zone. He was promoted late in the season and performed well in Trenton also. In a small sample size, 17 innings pitched, Isaacson went 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA.















































Battle Creek









Staten Island








Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup

Fastball. Charlie Isaacson's fastball would definitely fall into the category of a power fastball that tops out in the mid 90's. He uses this as a great setup pitch to his breaking ball and off speed pitches and makes him a prototypical setup or middle reliever. His heater is slightly above average with good movement.

Other Pitches. Besides a fastball, Isaacson also has a changeup and a curveball. Earlier in his career, he had a tendency to use his breaking pitches too much and it would cause him to get hit hard. However, he has developed his off speed pitches to a strong level which is rare for a young pitcher. He mixes them in very well and uses them as strikeout pitches. The most important thing is, though, is that he can locate these pitches. He gave up only 7 home runs in 103.2 innings pitched in 2004 which shows that he does not hang his breaking stuff very often.

Pitching. Charlie Isaacson is exactly what you think of in terms of a very intelligent pitcher. One thing he does very wells is he knows how to use his breaking and off speed pitches in the right spot at the right time. He mixes his pitches despite being a good fastball pitcher but can use his fastball or his breaking ball as a strikeout pitch. This only adds to his marketability as a starter, swingman out of the bullpen or a setup reliever. He could become a very good pitcher out of any role with his deep repertoire and overall pitching smarts that he possesses. One thing he will need to do is cut down on the walks just a little bit.

Projection. At this point, it appears that Isaacson is destined for the bullpen or a swingman type role. But, it looks like he could be an incredibly good member of a major league pen someday. If he continues to develop correctly he could make an excellent middle reliever with a chance to start as well. There are a few different paths for Isaacson so he is a fringe prospect the Yankees are going to keep a sharp eye on in 2005.

ETA. Late 2005. It appears that Charlie Isaacson could be ready for major league action in late 2005 as a member of either the Yankee bullpen or some other organization. Isaacson may get a chance to start in AAA Columbus in 2005 and that looks like the most likely option. Even if he does start in AA Trenton, he should get a quick promotion to AAA. With that being said, he has a solid shot at a September callup in 2005. Consider him to have a similar scenario to Juan Padilla in 2004.

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