Friday, June 15, 2007

Brackman Drops to 30th in MLB Draft

Is N.C. State responsible for his fall?

N.C. State junior Andrew Brackman was taken by the Yankees as the last pick of the first round of the MLB Draft. Unless something very unusual happens, Brackman’s Wolfpack Basketball and Baseball careers are over. The only hope for Wolfpack fans is that the Yankees won’t sign him before the August 15 deadline… Don’t count on that happening. Of course, under NCAA rules, Brackman still has basketball eligibility even if he signs with the Yanks. George Steinbrenner has done many stupid things during his tenure as Yankee owner; allowing a first round draft selection to risk injury while playing college hoops is not one of them. With his days at N.C. State seemingly over, one has to ask what caused Brackman to fall from a possible top-three pick to 30th? A drop that based on figures from “The Baseball Analysts”, likely cost Brackman $2 million in signing bonuses.

After a freshman season that saw Brackman post an impressive 4-0 record with a 2.25 ERA after he finished with basketball, his sophomore season was a disaster with Brackman appearing in only seven games before the discovery of a stress fracture in his hip ended his season. After he decided to fore go his junior year of basketball to concentrate on baseball, the general thought was that Brackman would have a breakout junior season on the mound. Unfortunately, after posting a 6-4 record and 3.81 ERA in 78 innings of work, injury once again ended Brackman’s season prematurely. Although the sore arm, which N.C. State officials indicate should be fine with rest, no doubt scared away most MLB scouts, the fact that his fastball no longer had the same zip as in previous seasons was likely a major factor in has slip to 30th.

...Focusing on baseball forced Brackman to change the way he trains. No more late night powerlifting sessions - those made him too bulky, costing him flexibility in his arm and zip from his fastball. Instead, his workouts focus on his lower body, so he can generate a stronger leg push when he winds, kicks and delivers...

Of course having Scott Boras as an “advisor” probably scared a few teams off.

In my analysis, Brackman is paying the price for his attempt at being a two-sport star. However, N.C. State bears some of the responsibility for his fall in the draft. It’s easy to see a 6’ 10” basketball player and think “post player” Most people forget that Brackman had spent his high school hoops career as a guard. His sudden growth spurt instantly got everyone thinking that he was a post player… just one problem. He still had the body frame of a guard. Whether it was encouragement from Herb Sendek, or the his own realization that he was being pushed around in the paint, Brackman decided that he needed to bulk up between his freshman and sophomore seasons. What concerns me is that there was apparently no thought on the impact Brackman’s weight training program would have on his baseball career. For this, I blame Coach Avent and Coach Sendek for apparently not discussing what was in Brackman’s best interest. Folks, there is nothing wrong with having a 6’ 10” guard on the basketball team, but there is something terribly wrong with not taking the time to advise and supervise a top baseball prospect on how to properly develop his body. While I am not sure what expertise N.C. State’s weight training staff has on such matters, I am sure that a little bit of research would have put Brackman’s weight training program on the right track.

I hope Brackman does well. As a lifelong Braves fan, it pains me to consider rooting for the Yankees, but I guess I can pull for them every fifth day.

Career Baseball Stats from
'05 2.09 4-0 10 07 00 00 43.0 32 13 10 18 43 05 00 00 148 .216 03 04 2
'06 6.35 1-3 07 07 00 00 28.1 37 25 20 19 32 08 00 02 116 .319 07 04 1
'07 3.81 6-4 13 13 01 00 78.0 78 41 33 37 74 11 03 07 296 .264 12 10 1

Career Basketball Stats from


Ken White said...

You just have to wonder, just how good could he have been as a basketball player. Todd Fuller made a few bucks in the NBA. Would have been fun to see his basketball career play out.

Anonymous said...

It would have been nice to see it play out last year when the Pack was so short-handed. I wonder if State will ever allow a player to play both basketball and baseball again.

Ken White said...

For the right guy, I got to believe almost any school would.