- Finnegan has a purpose for everything he does. He has the air of a real pro pitcher.
- In 2014, Brandon went 8-3, 2.07 ERA in 15 starts for the TCU Horned Frogs. In 92 innings, he collected 122 strikeouts and 25 walks. He held opponents to a .206 average and led the nation with 12 strikeouts per nine innings.
- Finnegan's father, Gary, pitched at TCU in 1979. He still owns the single-season strikeout record at Southwest High in Fort Worth. Brandon came close to matching the mark as a senior, but still felt short.
An arm injury halted Gary’s career at TCU. Two weeks later, he went to work for his father’s roofing company. The company is now his. He coached both his sons into high school.Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/mlb/kansas-city-royals/article11387945.html#storylink=cpy
First-rounder: Just minutes into Finnegan's first press conference as an official member of the Royals on June 28, 2014, it became evident why the organization thought fondly enough of him to dole out the big signing bonus. Finnegan radiated confidence on the podium, where he was wedged between general manager Dayton Moore and director of scouting Lonnie Goldberg, two men instrumental in selecting him.Finnegan's bonus figure is the full allotment for the 17th pick. The 21-year-old lefthander will begin his career at Class A Advanced Wilmington."It's a very exciting day for us in this organization, bringing Brandon and his family into our family," Goldberg said.
Finnegan flashed his bright smile, declared his stuff Major League ready and compared himself to big league pitchers C.J. Wilson, Derek Holland, and even David Price.Goldberg described the Royals' first contact with Finnegan, perfect insight into their first-rounder's mindset: "I got a phone call from Chad Lee and Greg Miller, both first-time scouts with us, and they had just met with Brandon, and I remember one of the comments was, 'He thinks he can pitch in the big leagues right now.'" (Jackson Alexander MLB.com, 6/28/2014)
Brandon was the first player from the 2014 draft to reach the Majors. He is just the third player in Royals history to reach the Majors the same year he was drafted, joining Bo Jackson (1986) and Jeff Granger (1993).
He went from facing Kansas and Kansas State in the spring to encountering Derek Jeter and David Ortiz in September. He struck them both out and then sought their signatures.
“I ended up getting Big Papi’s autograph,” Finnegan said. “That was awesome. It’s definitely different. I sent over a baseball for Ortiz and (Mike) Napoli and they both signed it and sent it back over. I actually got a jersey signed by Derek Jeter in New York.”Finnegan retired the first eight batters he encountered in the majors, and in his first seven innings he struck out 10 and walked one, while allowing six hits and one run.
He then came up huge for the Royals in their 9-8 victory against the Athletics in the American League Wild Card Game,when he struck out three with one run allowed in 2 1/3 innings.
On October 25, 2014, when he took the mound for the Royals, Brandon became the first player ever to play in the College World Series and the MLB World Series in the same year.
In 2014, Finnegan was honored by the Rangers as the Texas Professional Baseball Player of the Year.
Finnegan's brother Jonathan played baseball at Western Texas College.
When Brandon turned 10, his dad sensed his athletic potential. Brandon came home from school one day that year with a sore foot. There was an all-star game that night. The boy still wanted to play.
“On a scale of one to 10, what is it?” Gary said.
“About a six.”
“Do you think you can play if we tape it up?”
Brandon notched three hits, Gary recalled. The next day, the foot still ached. A doctor discovered it was broken.
In 2015, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Finnegan as the second-best prospect in the Royals organization.
September 18, 2015: When you've already pitched in the World Series, what's there to making your first Major League start? Transitioning from reliever to starting pitcher, Brandon Finnegan showed no signs of being nervous. He held the Brewers to one run over five innings in Cincinnati's 5-3 victory at Miller Park.
"You wouldn't have thought it was his first start," Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart said. "To be quite frank, I didn't know it was his first start. I thought he had one with the Royals."
Finnegan, who left the clubhouse without speaking to reporters, entered the start having shown he can have success as a reliever at the Major League level. But the Reds acquired Finnegan from Kansas City as part of the Johnny Cueto trade to use him as a starting pitcher. As much success as Finnegan has had out of the bullpen, the 22-year-old has struggled as a starting pitcher in the Minor Leagues.
"For a young guy that a lot came quickly (in 2014), this still was a big stepping stone for Brandon," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He did transition into the rotation for us in Triple-A and wasn't spot on as far as having immediate success as a starter. This was his best start since he's been in our organization." (A Gruman - MLB.com - September 19, 2015)
- June 2014: Brandon was the Royals first round pick in the draft, the 17th player chosen overall. He had pitched for TCU for three years. He signed for a bonus of $2.2 million, via scouts Chad Lee and Gregg Miller.
- July 26, 2015: The Royals sent lefthanders Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed to Cincinnati; acquiring Johnny Cueto and cash.
|Home:||Fort Worth, TX||Team:||REDS|
|Birth City:||Fort Worth, TX|
|Draft:||Royals #1 - 2014 - Out of Texas Christian Univ.|
Finnegan throws his 92-94 mph two-seam SINKER a lot. He also has a 93-98 mph four-seam FASTBALL that also explodes out of his left hand. His 82-85 mph SLIDER that has become a wipeout pitch with sharp two-plane break, and an impressive 85-88 mph CHANGEUP as an option vs. righthanded. (May 2016)
Brandon uses his slider for called strikes, chase pitches, or to tie up righthanded hitters by running it in on their hands. He learned the pitch from N.C. State lefthander Carlos Rodon during the summer of 2013 with Team USA. He went from having a below average breaking ball to a wipe-out pitch. Brandon still has his solid-average changeup and much more confidence now with his breaking ball.
"I used to go across the horseshoe with the slider, now I'm going with the seams. Throw it exactly like the fastball, and it has hard, sharp break to it," Finnegan said.
In August 2016, Finnegan incorporated a new, improved changeup into his repertoire and pitched six scoreless innings in a 6-0 victory.
Teammate Dan Straily helped Brandon
"I was just throwing a fastball and slider and it's not too hard to hit that—a starter throwing two pitches," Finnegan said. "It got to the point where I was cutting (the changeup) and it was like a second slider. We fiddled around with it and in my last bullpen it was nothing but fastballs and changeups. We changed the grip and I was able to command it.
"It it wasn't for Mr. Straily over there, I wouldn't have a changeup. Now, every bullpen session I work on it."
Straily said he had the exact same problem a few seasons ago.
In 2016, Brandon was using his changeup and his 4-seam heater a little more often than in 2015. Brandon does have some effort in his delivery, but he is strong and athletic and is able to repeat his mechanics. That makes some want him as a starting pitcher. And some believe he'd be a better power reliever.
But the Reds told Finnegan right away in August 2015 that they see him as a starter.
"I like starting. I love it. I’ve done it my whole life,” Finnegan said after getting the call to Cincinnati in September 2015. “I want to show people I can start at this level. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. I can fall back on the relieving part. We’ll just see how it goes.” Team USA head coach Jim Schlossnagle said that he described Brandon during the summer of 2013 as a "fan-belt guy," like a fan belt in a car.
"With a good pitcher, when it slips off, he can find a way to get it back on," he said. "For him, anytime it slid off, it was off, it was gone, you might as well get somebody else up. And he been able to corral it; that the sign of a good pitcher."
Scouts also point to improved pitchability. And he has the makeup, the command and the bulldog demeanor coaches like to see.
His early departure from an April 2014 start at Texas Christian and subsequent skipping of a start with a stiff shoulder raised some durability concerns. Finnegan was seen by the Royals as a starting pitcher. The reason they used him in relief in 2014, was because they wanted to limit his innings after drafting him out of TCU.
September 6, 2014: Brandon pitched two perfect innings in his Major League debut.
In October 2014, Finnegan pitched some meaningful middle innings for the Royal in the playoffs and World Series, helping manager Ned Yost get to his big three at the back of the bullpen—Herrera, Davis, and Holland. Finnegan was pleased to work as a starting pitcher after being acquired by the Reds. While willing to fill whatever role, he did make his preference clear.
- 2016 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 28.9% of the time; Sinker 37.2% of the time; Change 12.5%; Slider 21.3%; and Cutter .1% of the time.
- As of the start of the 2017 season, Finnegan has a career record of 15-14 with 3.81 ERA, having allowed 37 home runs (19.2% of all hits) and 193 hits in 227 innings.