When prices were so low, they were ridiculous.
With the 851st pick of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft, the Seattle Mariners select Matt Brazis, RHHP, Boston College. This is not a phrase that anybody really cared about, outside of the Brazis family and really faithful Boston College baseball fans. After his first 21 professional innings, I think we should think a little bit more about the guy that was drafted after 850 other prospects.
Brazis was taken in the 28th round by Seattle, a round after they had selected a pitcher named Blake Holovach that had a 5.08 ERA at the University of Missouri and had 44 strikeouts, 34 walks in 79.2 innings. Of course, there are reasons that Brazis was not a highly regarded prospect.
First of all, he is a relief pitcher. I'm not going to say that it's easy to find good relief pitchers, but relatively speaking to other positions in baseball, it can be done. The Mariners found relief pitchers in classrooms and bars. It's hardly even a TV movie anymore. Second of all, Brazis missed a big chunk of his junior season with injury and according to Larry Stone: "Baseball America notes that Brazis hasn't pitched much the last couple of years but correctly predicted he'd get drafted on the basis of raw stuff. They cite his plus fastball and average slider."
He might only have one pitch, based on that report. Well, right now it looks like the pitch is working.
Brazis debuted with short-season Pulaski and made seven relief appearances: 8.1 innings, 1 hit, 0 R, 0 BB, 19 strikeouts.
He was promoted to low-A Clinton and has made six appearances: 12.2 innings, 5 hits, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 24 strikeouts. His total numbers over two levels are 43 strikeouts and 2 walks in 21 innings.
These numbers are a lot of fun. Still, Brazis turns 23 next month and the average age of hitters in the Midwest League is 21.5. It's also easier to get by with a "plus fastball" at lower levels but will need other pitches to survive a stop like AA. We can't make hard determinations on future success based only on numbers with these kinds of exceptions, but it's fun to think that maybe with the 851st pick of a draft, Seattle got a major league player.
There's a lot of time left for a lot to go wrong, but Brazis hasn't done anything so far other than right. He's one to watch now, and let's enjoy these ridiculous numbers while we can.