Raleigh, N.C. — Former North Carolina State pitcher Andrew Brackman is about to warm up for the New York Yankees.
The 6-foot-10 Brackman was the Yankees' first round pick in the amateur draft in June 2007. He was scheduled to start throwing from 90 feet next week.
Brackman had surgery on Aug. 24 and was expected to be sidelined between 12 and 18 months. He was one of two Yankee pitchers taking part in throwing programs after elbow ligament replacement surgery last year.
Brackman struggled with elbow injuries during his senior year at N.C. State, prompting Coach Elliott Avent to keep him from playing from May 12. That decision, though, probably helped improve Brackman's health – and preserve his status as a top 10 draft pick.
Brackman signed a 4 year, $4.5 million deal, plus a signing bonus of $3.3 million, with the Yankees on Aug. 15.
The contract could be worth $13.8 million if certain clauses and options are met – one being giving up basketball
Brackman began his unique career at N.C. State as a highly regarded prospect for both baseball and basketball. He played both sports his first two seasons.
As a freshman, he joined the baseball team late after basketball season and showed immense potential. He made three appearances in relief and had a 1.29 ERA. As a starter, he was a stellar 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA.
But as a sophomore, he gained weight for basketball and was not as effective once he put on baseball cleats. He pitched just seven times before a stress fracture ended his season.
During his senior year, however, he decided to concentrate on baseball and not to play basketball despite repeated overtures from new Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe.
That season, he Brackman had a 6-4 record with an earned-run average of 3.81. He struck out 74 batters and walked 37 in 78.0 innings.