If you were ready to write off Brackman when his ERA sat at a lofty 8.31 after six starts in the Florida State League, that would have been a mistake, as things are starting to really click. He's been throwing an almost shocking number of strikes all season (7 BB in 55 IP), but his stuff is getting better and better, as the Yankees have put considerable work into nearly every aspect of his game and the results are finally showing up. With a fastball suddenly getting up to 96 mph, two distinct breaking balls and a changeup, Brackman has allowed six runs over 29 innings in his last five starts while whiffing 34, and he's back on the prospect map.
Jackson's explosive debut last year may have resulted in some unfair expectations, as while on a tools and athleticism level, he was far better than the 31st best player in the draft, he also had some real holes in his game, especially in his swing. While the power hasn't been there this year, he has flirted with .300 for much of the season while drawing a good number of walks, and in the Florida State League, it's certainly an excellent showing, as by going 12-for-27 in his last six games, including last night's stylish cycle that ended with a walk-off home run, he's up to .291/.405/.450 and still easily the best outfielder in the system.
He remains arguably the toolsiest player in a system loaded with toolsy players, and there's been some definite progress this year in translating those tools into baseball skills. After hitting .216 in April and .246 in May, he's 23-for-61 (.377) in his last 14 games with 10 extra base hits and a declining strikeout rate. It's too early to say everything is finally ticking, but it's worth keeping an eye on.
Others Of Note:
- Ehire Adrianza, SS, Giants (High-A San Jose): 2-for-4, HR (1), 2 R, 4 RBI, BB, K. Don't get to write about him enough because he doesn't fill up a stat sheet, but hitting .262/.367/.405 in June and one of the best defensive shortstops in the minors.
- Drake Britton, LHP, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K. Still stretching out after Tommy John surgery; up to 94 mph and showing plus breaking ball.
- Delta Cleary, OF, Rockies (Low-A Ashville): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Toolsy as all get-out, back after missing first two months of season with wrist injury and 7-for-20 in five games.
- Drew Cumberland, SS, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 3-for-5, R, K, SB. If anything, getting hotter; .410 (32-for-78) in last 18 games and .374/.411/.551 overall; arguable a top three prospect in the system.
- Matt Dominguez, 3B, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 2-for-3, HR (9), R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K. Three home runs in last five games and slugging .649 in June.
- Robbie Erlin, LHP, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. Has 1.80 ERA in six starts with sub-one WHIP and nearly a strikeout per inning.
- Alex Gordon, OF, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 4-for-5, 3 2B, 2 R, K. Up to .373/.495/.667; still in Omaha for some reason we don't know.
- Greg Halman, OF, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 3-for-5, 2 HR (11), 2 R, 4 RBI, K. 11 home runs in 117 at-bats to go with 51 Ks; At .248/.338/.581, there's still some talent here that shouldn't be ignored.
- Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Rays (Triple-A Durham): 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K. Might be up on any other team; 31.2 IP, 19 H, 9 BB, 29 K in last five starts.
- Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Cubs (Low-A Peoria): 3-for-5, 2 R. Finally catching up offensively; 19-year-old is hitting .370/.431/.391 in 12 June games and seems to make one eye-popping defensive play a night.
- Fernando Martinez, OF, fMets (Triple-A Buffalo): 1-for-5, HR (4), R, 4 RBI. Walk of grand slam in fourth game back from injury; 7-for-16 with two home runs since return.
- Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds (Double-A Carolina): 2-for-4, HR (4), 2 R, 2 RBI. 5-for-9 with two home runs in last two games; was 6-for-38 (.158) in first 12 contests after promotion.
- Aaron Miller, LHP, Dodgers (High-A Inland Empire): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K. Starting to dominate; 51 IP, 36 H and 2.44 ERA in last 10 outings, and that's in the southern half of the Cal League.
- Jesus Montero, C, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 3-for-4, 2B, RBI, K. Finally coming around? 8-for-15 w/ four doubles in last four games.
- Will Myers, C, Royals (Low-A Burlington): 2-for-4, 2B, K. 9-for-19 with 18 total bases in last five games; top five in Midwest League in both on-base (.406) and slugging (.524). Keep in mind that he hit .232 in April.
- Juan Ramirez, RHP, Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K. Best start of Philly career; team is desperate for any good results from Cliff Lee trade.
- Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 2-for-4, 2 2B, K. It's simply what he does; 11 mutli-hit games in last 19 and .411/.500/.714 overall in 31 contests.
- Mark Trumbo, 1B, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake): 2-for-3, HR (15), R, 4 RBI. Eight home runs in last 22 games as big league club sends Kevin Frandsen out to play first base.