Posted: 5:27 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, 2013
By Akula Wolf
Andrew Brackman is giving up on baseball, it appears. The news comes from Josh Horton, who worked for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (New York's AAA affiliate) while Brackman was playing there in 2011.
Just caught up with former SWB Yankee Andrew Brackman at a bar in Morehead City, NC. Done with baseball, heading overseas to play hoops.— Josh Horton (@J_HortonMU) August 4, 2013
Brackman inked a deal with the White Sox in January and was sent to the team's single-A team in Winston-Salem; for a 27-year-old, that assignment is a pretty clear indication that you're just about toast. He made only one appearance there, a two-inning relief effort in which he struck out two, walked one, gave up a homer, and allowed two earned runs. That is, unfortunately, how Brackman's once-bright baseball career came to an end.
He spent three years with the Yankees, who selected him in the first round of the 2007 MLB Draft and gave him every opportunity to make the majors. He never realized his potential after Tommy John surgery, and whether it was as a starter or a reliever, he wasn't effective. He had one outlier year in which he walked just 2.5 batters per nine innings, but over the course of his minor league career, he averaged more than five free passes per nine innings.
He could always strike guys out. That translated to the next level; he just could not control his stuff. But by the time he signed with Cincinnati in 2012, his strikeout rate was beginning to diminish. In five starts with Cincinnati's AAA club in 2012, he struck out 13 while walking 16 in 17-1/3 innings.
On the bright side, he pocketed $4.5 million from the Yankees, and he did have the opportunity (however brief) to pitch in the bigs. Oh, and now he can go overseas and play friggin' pro basketball. Picking basketball back up and playing at a high level is apparently just like riding a bike for a great athlete. I know we can all relate.
Brackman was an outstanding role player in his time with NC State's basketball team. Here's hoping he finds similar success in Europe.