Braboy Still Transitioning To The Mound

The first year in professional baseball is a period of adjustment for many pitchers. There is a big difference between the skill levels of amateur and professional hitters that they are constantly getting used to. For Brandon Braboy, a big part of his adjustment is just getting used to pitching.

That's because for most of college Brandon Braboy was not a pitcher, he was primarily a shortstop. While he was decent hitter at Rend Lake College one of his coaches saw potential in his arm and not his bat.

A switch was recommended and Braboy decided to take his game to the University of Indianapolis to try his hand at becoming a full-time pitcher.

"I never really had scouts come watch me as a position player," Braboy said when asked if he thought the move was a good idea. "As soon as I stepped up on the mound, I've had scouts watching me all the time and now I'm here."

At the start of the season he was a mid-week, just fill in innings type of guy. He didn't let that discourage him and he worked hard with a mid-nineties fastball, a changeup, and a big loopy curveball, and Braboy ended the season as the best starter in the rotation. He was rewarded for his hard work by being selected in the eighteenth-round by the Yankees.

The pick was a risky one by the Yankees, while Braboy has a live arm, he's behind a lot of his peers because he hasn't logged the amount of innings they have which makes him hard to project. The reason why the Yankees felt good taking this risk is because you can teach a 22-year-old to pitch, but you can't teach them to throw 96 MPH.

Braboy definitely has to learn to pitch, in college he mostly just over powered hitters with that strong fastball, only occasionally using his offspeed stuff. He has to learn to develop his breaking balls and figure out what situations to use them in. His mechanics are also very rough which causes him to struggle sometimes.

"I think he's got to keep figuring things out from a pitching perspective," his Staten Island Yankees manager Pat McMahon said. "He's got to understand that he's becoming a pitcher and not just a thrower. When one is blessed with a good arm, that's something that he has to work through."

Becoming a pitcher means that he has to focus on keeping the ball down - something he didn't pay much attention to against college hitters. Command is another issue. Pitching to professionals without command is obviously very tough and when Braboy loses it, he gets beat up.

On top of working on that he's also revamping his pitch selection. His fastball is fine, he just needs to command it better. His changeup is good too, but needs some work and the big loopy curveball he threw in college is gone. Working with him on improving the changeup and replacing the curveball with a slider is Staten Island pitching coach Pat Daneker.

"His changeup is coming along pretty well," Daneker said. "He's confident in the changeup and throwing it a lot more. That's been his best secondary pitch right now.

"We need to work on his slider and better command of his fastball. He's working on staying over the slider a little bit more."

As he continues to work to improve his changeup and add the slider, the thing that will help him to stay consistent are his mechanics. This is the area Braboy seems to be focusing on the most because he says he never really learned proper mechanics. To this point he's gotten by with a strong arm and strong legs which help him push off.

"It takes arm strength right now because my mechanics aren't the best," Braboy said. "One thing I'm looking to work on is my stride. I'm not sure if I'm going to make my stride longer or make it shorter. I know that's something they want to work with me on because I've been leaving the ball up."

Braboy has struggled with inconsistency this season for the Staten Island Yankees. In his first seven starts he has a 3.86 ERA and batters have hit him up for a .267 batting average against. He's also been a bit wild walking eleven batters in 25.2 innings.

Looking at how far along he was in his development coming into this season and considering he is just now getting to work with the coaches, these numbers shouldn't be alarming.

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\r\n \r\n\r\nThat's because for most of college Brandon Braboy was not a pitcher, he was primarily a shortstop. While he was decent hitter at Rend Lake College one of his coaches saw potential in his arm and not his bat.
\r\n
\r\nA switch was recommended and Braboy decided to take his game to the University of Indianapolis to try his hand at becoming a full-time pitcher.
\r\n
\r\n\"I never really had scouts come watch me as a position player,\" Braboy said when asked if he thought the move was a good idea. \"As soon as I stepped up on the mound, I've had scouts watching me all the time and now I'm here.\"
\r\n
\r\nAt the start of the season he was a mid-week, just fill in innings type of guy. He didn't let that discourage him and he worked hard with a mid-nineties fastball, a changeup, and a big loopy curveball, and Braboy ended the season as the best starter in the rotation. He was rewarded for his hard work by being selected in the eighteenth-round by the Yankees.
\r\n
\r\nThe pick was a risky one by the Yankees, while Braboy has a live arm, he's behind a lot of his peers because he hasn't logged the amount of innings they have which makes him hard to project. The reason why the Yankees felt good taking this risk is because you can teach a 22-year-old to pitch, but you can't teach them to throw 96 MPH.
\r\n
\r\nBraboy definitely has to learn to pitch, in college he mostly just over powered hitters with that strong fastball, only occasionally using his offspeed stuff. He has to learn to develop his breaking balls and figure out what situations to use them in. His mechanics are also very rough which causes him to struggle sometimes.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think he's got to keep figuring things out from a pitching perspective,\" his Staten Island Yankees manager Pat McMahon said. \"He's got to understand that he's becoming a pitcher and not just a thrower. When one is blessed with a good arm, that's something that he has to work through.\"
\r\n
\r\nBecoming a pitcher means that he has to focus on keeping the ball down - something he didn't pay much attention to against college hitters. Command is another issue. Pitching to professionals without command is obviously very tough and when Braboy loses it, he gets beat up.
\r\n
\r\nOn top of working on that he's also revamping his pitch selection. His fastball is fine, he just needs to command it better. His changeup is good too, but needs some work and the big loopy curveball he threw in college is gone. Working with him on improving the changeup and replacing the curveball with a slider is Staten Island pitching coach Pat Daneker.
\r\n
\r\n\"His changeup is coming along pretty well,\" Daneker said. \"He's confident in the changeup and throwing it a lot more. That's been his best secondary pitch right now.
\r\n
\r\n\"We need to work on his slider and better command of his fastball. He's working on staying over the slider a little bit more.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs he continues to work to improve his changeup and add the slider, the thing that will help him to stay consistent are his mechanics. This is the area Braboy seems to be focusing on the most because he says he never really learned proper mechanics. To this point he's gotten by with a strong arm and strong legs which help him push off.
\r\n
\r\n\"It takes arm strength right now because my mechanics aren't the best,\" Braboy said. \"One thing I'm looking to work on is my stride. I'm not sure if I'm going to make my stride longer or make it shorter. I know that's something they want to work with me on because I've been leaving the ball up.\"
\r\n
\r\nBraboy has struggled with inconsistency this season for the Staten Island Yankees. In his first seven starts he has a 3.86 ERA and batters have hit him up for a .267 batting average against. He's also been a bit wild walking eleven batters in 25.2 innings.
\r\n
\r\nLooking at how far along he was in his development coming into this season and considering he is just now getting to work with the coaches, these numbers shouldn't be alarming.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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