- Throws Right
Javier Bracamonte is the bullpen catcher for the Houston Astros. He reportedly played a couple of seasons as an infielder in the New York Yankees organization from 1988 to 1990 but there are no records to support this. Prior to signing his first pro contract, he had been working as a bat boy in the Yankees' Venezuelan baseball academy.
He was first hired by the Astros as a batting practice pitcher on the recommendation of countryman Richard Hidalgo in 2001. He was soon hired to do it full time and added bullpen catching duties shortly thereafter. He has accompanied at least three Astros hitters taking part in the annual Home Run Derby before the All-Star Game. He wears uniform number 85.
He is known for his willingness to interact with kids attending big league games, including play catch with them. He says that it comes from growing up in awe of the major league players he met in Venezuela and how much he appreciated the friendly gestures they made towards kids who came to watch them play.
- Alyson Footer: "Bracamonte puts fans first: Astros bullpen catcher has a legacy of generosity", mlb.com, March 14, 2016.