Jesus Montero, a catcher, is considered the top position-player prospect...

Jesus Montero, a catcher, is considered the top position-player prospect in the Yankees' minor-league system. (Feb. 19, 2010) Credit: AP

Andrew Brackman walked into the home clubhouse at Yankee Stadium a little before 1 p.m. yesterday.

He was the only one in there.

Dellin Betances showed up a little later and was awed by his surroundings. Jesus Montero? He felt as though he belonged.

One day, those names may be recognizable to more than just fans who follow the minor leagues. They are among the Yankees' top prospects and they arrived in the Bronx Thursday as this year's participants in Brian Cashman's "Take Your Phenoms to Work" program.

Betances, a righthanded pitcher, and Montero, a slugging catcher, are here for the weekend for a look-see. Not so much for the Yankees to look at them, but for them to hang around the big-leaguers and get a sense of what it's like to be a Yankee.

Betances and Montero are not on the roster, so they are not allowed in the clubhouse or dugout during games and are not getting paid. They are allowed to work out with the team beforehand. "It might be a waste of time," said Cashman, who checked with MLB before giving the two players the opportunity to be with the big club. "But I think it's worth trying."

Yesterday, Betances and Montero put on pinstriped uniform pants and blue warmup tops with no numbers on the back. Betances played catch in the outfield with Joba Chamberlain; on Saturday, he'll throw a bullpen session and Montero will take batting practice. They watched last night's game against the Rays from the stands.

Brackman, also a righthander, is on the roster. He was given a full uniform with No. 66 on the back. He threw a bullpen session Thursday and is available to pitch in games until the end of the regular season.

Cashman said he told manager Joe Girardi he can use Brackman, but that seems unlikely. The 24-year-old hasn't pitched in 10 days and was home in Cincinnati when he got the call to join the Yankees.

Based on what he was told, Brackman said: "I don't plan on pitching. It's just to get a taste of it. Just to be around the guys and see what it's all about."

The home clubhouse at Yankee Stadium has 36 lockers, and they were full before the trio arrived. Brackman was assigned to share a locker with pitcher Jonathan Albaladejo. Montero bunked with outfielder Greg Golson. Betances is sharing a locker with pitcher Romulo Sanchez.

None of the three newbies got nameplates. Chances are they didn't mind.

"It's an honor to be here," said Betances, a 22-year-old from Brooklyn who attended Grand Street Campus High School. "I watched these guys growing up and now to be with them, to work out with them . . . It's definitely nice to be here and look at the stadium. I was like, 'Wow, man.' "

The 6-8 Betances went 8-1 with a 2.11 ERA in a season split between Class A and Double-A. The 6-10 Brackman went 10-11, 3.90 on those levels.

Montero, 20, hit .289 with 21 homers and 75 RBIs for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Even though the Yankees have Jorge Posada and Francisco Cervelli under contract for next season, Montero said he plans on doing more than just looking around the next time he's in the Bronx.

"Four years working in the minor leagues and now I'm here, finally," he said. "Now I'm just going to keep working hard to stay here all the time. I want to work really hard in the offseason and make the team and stay here all year."

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