Brooks Starting To Tap His Potential

Coming out of high school, Gavin Brooks was already a highly touted pitcher and after spending a few years with UCLA he was selected in the ninth round of this year's draft. Subsequently, Brooks has made a big impact in his rookie season with the Staten Island Yankees.

A tall, powerful lefty, Brooks had a successful career with UCLA before entering the draft after his Junior year. Early on in his career with UCLA he was a starter but was transitioned to a reliever towards the end of his time with the Bruins.

Brooks' season with the Staten Island Yankees started out a little rocky command-wise, but by the end of July he had turned his season around and became one of Staten Island's most reliable arms in the bullpen.

"I've felt good since the beginning and I've felt prepared since then, but I've been taking it one day at a time. Here I am throwing every day and working harder," Brooks said. "When I might not have been in college. Getting into a routine has really helped me."

Brooks' repertoire of pitches includes a fastball which sits between 88-92 MPH, a slider and a curveball, and it has served him well in his late season transformation. The numbers he has put up since his turning point in late July have been outstanding. In eighteen innings in July, Brooks posted a 1.50 ERA with fifteen hits, seventeen strikeouts and thirteen walks.

August was a revelation and in 17.2 innings he gave up seven hits while walking just six and striking out eighteen with a 0.00 ERA. The California native credits his overpowering slider in the grand scheme.

"My slider has been very reliable," he said. "I've gotten into some tough jams here and there and I've been able to get out of it with my slider and strike some guys out."

Staten Island catcher Kyle Higashioka gives a closer look at Brooks' overall abilities on the mound and sees the promise in the 21 year-old lefty.

"He combines good velocity with good movement and he's got a hard slider and a good curve, and movement on his fastball. He's got the stuff and it's effective, so coming from the left side it's something a little different for hitters."

Brooks acknowledges some wildness on the mound and thinks locating his fastball may help to cut down on his walks, which had plagued him since the beginning of the season.

"I could use to command my fastball a little bit better. My walks have been way too high and I think being able to hit spots and get ahead with my fastball would be a big help."

After the season, the Yankees have notified Brooks that he will be attending Instructs and he already has some plans for the work that needs to be done.

"I'll be going to Instructs after the season and the team has told me I'm going to work on a changeup, and maybe a sinker while I'm there."

The playoffs may still be looming for the Staten Island Yankees and Brooks has some plans before his time is over with the team. At the top of the list is commanding those pitches.

"Command is my priority right now, I have way too many walks so minimizing the walks and not giving away bases is very important," Brooks said.

"I've also had some bunts against me that I could work on so defending bunts and getting off the mound quicker is pretty important."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nA tall, powerful lefty, Brooks had a successful career with UCLA before entering the draft after his Junior year. Early on in his career with UCLA he was a starter but was transitioned to a reliever towards the end of his time with the Bruins.
\r\n
\r\nBrooks' season with the Staten Island Yankees started out a little rocky command-wise, but by the end of July he had turned his season around and became one of Staten Island's most reliable arms in the bullpen.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've felt good since the beginning and I've felt prepared since then, but I've been taking it one day at a time. Here I am throwing every day and working harder,\" Brooks said. \"When I might not have been in college. Getting into a routine has really helped me.\"
\r\n
\r\nBrooks' repertoire of pitches includes a fastball which sits between 88-92 MPH, a slider and a curveball, and it has served him well in his late season transformation. The numbers he has put up since his turning point in late July have been outstanding. In eighteen innings in July, Brooks posted a 1.50 ERA with fifteen hits, seventeen strikeouts and thirteen walks.
\r\n
\r\nAugust was a revelation and in 17.2 innings he gave up seven hits while walking just six and striking out eighteen with a 0.00 ERA. The California native credits his overpowering slider in the grand scheme.
\r\n
\r\n\"My slider has been very reliable,\" he said. \"I've gotten into some tough jams here and there and I've been able to get out of it with my slider and strike some guys out.\"
\r\n
\r\nStaten Island catcher Kyle Higashioka gives a closer look at Brooks' overall abilities on the mound and sees the promise in the 21 year-old lefty.
\r\n
\r\n\"He combines good velocity with good movement and he's got a hard slider and a good curve, and movement on his fastball. He's got the stuff and it's effective, so coming from the left side it's something a little different for hitters.\"
\r\n
\r\nBrooks acknowledges some wildness on the mound and thinks locating his fastball may help to cut down on his walks, which had plagued him since the beginning of the season.
\r\n
\r\n\"I could use to command my fastball a little bit better. My walks have been way too high and I think being able to hit spots and get ahead with my fastball would be a big help.\"
\r\n
\r\nAfter the season, the Yankees have notified Brooks that he will be attending Instructs and he already has some plans for the work that needs to be done.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'll be going to Instructs after the season and the team has told me I'm going to work on a changeup, and maybe a sinker while I'm there.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe playoffs may still be looming for the Staten Island Yankees and Brooks has some plans before his time is over with the team. At the top of the list is commanding those pitches.
\r\n
\r\n\"Command is my priority right now, I have way too many walks so minimizing the walks and not giving away bases is very important,\" Brooks said.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've also had some bunts against me that I could work on so defending bunts and getting off the mound quicker is pretty important.\"
\r\n
\r\n

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

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\r\n

\r\n

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