Andrew Brackman, the 6-10 rookie right-hander who was the Yankees first-round draft pick in 2007, drew rave reviews after throwing a live batting practice session today to Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner, Justin Maxwell and Francisco Cervelli. There was no radar gun but Granderson estimated Brackman was throwing 92-93 MPH, plus keeping hitters off-balance with an unorthodox changeup he keeps low in the zone.
"If that's where it is going to be, it is going to be a very effective pitch," Granderson said.
Manager Joe Girardi said Brackman was "much further ahead than he was'' at this time last year.
"He's really cleaned up his delivery and worked very hard at it,'' Girardi said. "He had a hard time consistently throwing strikes where now it appears that that's behind him.''
Brackman attributed his improvement to being three years removed from Tommy John surgery and becoming more comfortable in his elongated body. He also admitted to allowing himself to fantasize about maybe going north with the big club despite never having pitched above the Double A level.
"There's opportunity for a pitcher on this club this year,'' he said. "Everybody here wants to be That Guy.''