"I had a rough fifth inning there," said the towering 6-foot-10 right hander. "I think I just fell apart mechanically and I started to throw balls."
Brackman showed signs of improvement during the first four innings, giving up just one hit, but did give up a walk, and he also hit a batter. His fastball touched 94, but was consistently sitting around 91-92. He also complemented his fastball with a curveball and a newly-developed slider.
"[In my] first start my curveball wasn't there, but this start it got a little better," said Brackman. "I was trying to locate my fastball a little better and try to repeat my mechanics the best I could."
Fellow top prospect Austin Romine caught the game for Brackman and was happy to provide insight on how the day went.
"I think he got a little unlucky out there," said Romine. "He worked hard, but there was an error there in the fifth that cost us two runs, and unfortunately it didn't go his way."
Romine was solid behind the plate, and was able to keep Brackman safe of any wild pitches in tough situations, and was able to see how his pitches were working firsthand.
"That slider is a nice little pitch he's got," said Romine. "When he's got his fastball and curveball working, he can be very good."
Nardi Contreras, Yankees minor league pitching coordinator, was on hand in New Britain all weekend, and seemed confident in Brackman's progress.
"Brackman is a big guy, so it makes everything a little tougher," said Contreras. "But, he has shown better balance, better command, and promising velocity so far. He still has a lot of work to do, but he's doing just fine."
When watching Brackman, there's no doubt that his height affects his mechanics, as his windup is fluent but seems awkward. As Contreras said, balance is the key to Brackman's success, but is easier said than done for the former basketball player.
"It is tough because I am so big," said Brackman. "It's hard to keep all of my moving parts working together, and if you're not, you aren't throwing strikes."
With Nardi's presence over the past few days, it's likely that the Yankees want to keep a close eye on the 2007 first rounder's progress. His all-time professional record is now 7-14, and his current ERA (4.50) is the lowest he's had on any level.
"Nardi has been saying the same thing for the past two years," said Brackman. "I've got to get my arm angle to where I can throw downhill and that's where I can be more effective. But, I'm going to try to come back out after five days and do it again."
Brackman's next start is slated to be July 5th at Akron, and will be a huge indicator to see if he is in fact progressing. Although it seems that Brackman is on a ‘fast track' we should see him slow down and get used to the Double-A level before he even thinks about Triple-A.
Brackman's Second Start Looks Promising
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