With Dustin McGowan on the mend (plantar fasciitis in the right foot) even more eyes were on the Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Kyle Drabek tonight. Not only are people within the Jays organization still hoping he can live up to his potential but maybe he can earn an outright spot in the rotation immediately. Kyle Drabek helped his case with a strong spring training effort versus the New York Yankees and basically their full starting lineup.
Kyle Drabek faced 20 batters and gave the Jays 5 shutout innings, allowing 5 hits, walking 2 and striking out 5 to improve his spring ERA to 3.14. Not only did he strike out a batter an inning but he also kept the ball on the ground inducing 5 ground ball outs (and only 2 flyouts). The talented youngster would be a major boon to the questionable back end of the rotation if he were able to put it all together on a consistent basis.
Last season was rough for Drabek – 78.2 IPs, 87 hits, 55 BB, 51 K’s, 6.06 ERA, 5.52 FIP, 1.81 WHIP. But don’t forget one Roy Halladay set a record for the worst ERA (10.64) for any starting pitcher with more than 60 IPs and he turned out pretty good. Not to say that Kyle Drabek is remotely close to the talent level of a Roy Halladay but it goes to show failure can quickly turn to success with the right combination of talent, effort and a little good fortune.
With that I thought we would revisit Kyle Drabek’s highly anticipated (and highly successful) MLB debut last year on April 2nd, 2011 versus the Minnesota Twins. The big right hander is talented and has been highly touted by scouts since being drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Let’s take a look at what I wrote one year ago along with some Pitch F/X data from his stellar outing versus the Twins: