Sunday, March 27, 2005

Yhency Brazoban Report

Yhency Brazoban, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent, 1997, Dominican Republic
Bats R/Throws R
24 YO, 6'1", 170 lbs

Brazoban is Jesse Crain with a more interesting backstory. While Crain is a polished college reliever who has followed the exact career path that the Twins laid out for him when he was drafted, Brazoban was signed as an outfielder, moved to the mound after 4 1/2 subpar seasons with the bat, and then exploded on the scene from out of nowhere to become one of the better young relievers in baseball after being included in the Kevin Brown/Jeff Weaver trade as a throw-in.

Like Crain, he has a booming mid 90's fastball and a good slider. Like Crain, he's pegged as the setup man for a lights-out closer in 2004 with designs on replacing him when he gets really expensive. If you're in a league that counts holds as a category, and I'm in one that does, both would be a wise investment in this year's draft.

2004 Jacksonville: 2.65 ERA, 61 K, 22 BB, 38 H, 4 HR, 51 IP
2004 Las Vegas: 2.19 ERA, 17 K, 1 BB, 14 H, 1 HR, 12 IP
2004 Los Angeles: 2.48 ERA, 27 K, 15 BB, 25 H, 2 HR, 33 IP
mL Career: 3.92 ERA, 147 K, 54 BB, 120 H, 10 HR, 129 IP

Where Crain and Brazoban diverge is with control. Brazoban's walk rate is a bit higher than I like, though his strikeout and hit rates make up for it and keep him well within the bounds of what anybody would regard as effective. As with Crain, as long as he stays healthy and nothing weird happens, he should be a name that you hear a lot of in the next 10 years. If the Dodgers ever feel like cutting costs, they could push Gagne out the door and still have a very capable closer. Of course that would force them to look for another 7th/8th inning fireman, but this is why you employ a general manager.

ETA: Opening Day
4 Stars

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