Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Blue Jays On the Farm: Kyle Drabek pitching well for Buffalo

 

Kyle Drabek was acquired from the Philadelphia Philly’s for Roy Halladay in Alex Anthopoulos’ first trade as GM of the Toronto Blue Jays. Drabek had so much potential and projectability. He is the son of former major league pitcher Doug Drabek giving him the pedigree that scouts look for in a prospect; however, injuries and an inability to consistently find the strike zone have hindered the progress of the former 1st round (18th overall) pick.

Entering spring training Drabek had as much of a chance of winning a starting spot as Drew Hutchison and Dustin McGowan, but Drabek could not capitalize. Drabek struggled with his control and was sent to Buffalo to anchor the Bisons rotation with Ricky Romero, Liam Hendriks, Sean Nolin and Marcus Stroman.

It wasn’t so long ago Kyle Drabek was considered the Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospect, much the same way that Marcus Stroman and Sean Nolin are considered the next wave of young arms. After undergoing his 2nd Tommy John surgery many fans, myself included, had written Kyle Drabek off, but that might be a little bit premature.

Drabek has been quietly going about his business for the Bisons.

Year Lev W L ERA GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2014 AAA 4 3 4.07 9 48.2 55 29 22 7 17 38 1.479 10.2 1.3 3.1 7.0 2.24
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/23/2014.

Drabek has had 3 starts where he has not issued a single walk; unfortunately he is 1-2 in those starts. He has issues 4+ walks twice, but other than that he has limited the free passes that have hurt him so much in the past. Drabek has been hurt by serving up too many long balls, 7 in 48 innings to be exact. That works out to be 1 home run every 6.9 innings, so lets say 7 innings. So if you are averaging 5.4 innings a start, well you get the picture.

Drabek will need to do 2 things to become relevant again, those 2 things are limit the number of hits allowed and continue to limit the number of walks issued. This will bring his WHIP down to a respectable level, but he is on the right track. Drabek is  2-1 in 4 May starts with a 3.38 ERA, 2 HR, 6 BB, and 18 K, while doing a better job of keeping the ball on the ground with a 1.33 GO/AO. Drabek has also be able to hold Triple-A batters to a .239 average in his 4  May starts.

If Kyle continues to improve he could be in Toronto’s rotation by the end of the year or sooner. Is it time for Blue Jays management to reconsider Kyle Drabek as major league starter?

Have your opinions heard and leave a comment below.

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