Kyle Drabek Looking Like An Elite Starting Pitcher

Toronto Blue Jays moribund offense decided two losses in a row was enough as the Jays stomped the Baltimore Orioles by a score of 9-2.  The club received big hits from Brett Lawrie (first home run to go with 3 RBIs), Jeff Mathis (2-3, big 2-out RBI) and Edwin Encarnacion (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI).  But the biggest star for me was once again starting pitcher Kyle Drabek.

Drabek gave the Blue Jays 7.1 IPs, scattering six hits, allowing only one earned run, walking one and striking out six.  A solid 103-pitch outing that inspired even more confidence from Blue Jays fans that perhaps Kyle Drabek has indeed turned a corner.  If the young hurler can continue developing and provide the Jays consistent innings, it would be a huge boon.

Let’s have a look at how Kyle Drabek attacked the Baltimore Orioles hitters.

Type Count Avg Speed Max Speed H-Break V-Break Strikes
2Seam FB 40 93.7 95.2 -8.04 4.86 27 / 67.5%
4Seam FB 34 93.4 95.3 -3.64 7.19 21 / 61.7
Changeup 11 84.9 86.8 -6.80 1.19 6 / 54.5
Slider 9 80.6 81.7 4.39 -4.44 5 / 55.5
Curve 5 80.4 81.6 4.06 -4.31 3 / 60.0
Cutter 4 90.9 91.9 0.21 4.09 1 / 25.0

 Drabek has a dynamic arm with great stuff.  Both his two and four seam fastball have great velocity and movement and he was attacking the strike zone with both.  He is similar to Henderson Alvarez in the sense they can both generate a lot of groundballs (12 today versus the Orioles) but Drabek also shows the ability to miss bats and rack up strikeouts as well.

Drabek probably has a higher ceiling than Alvarez given the better off-speed pitches at his disposal.  He has not been afraid to throw them in any count, at least early in the 2012 season.  Drabek was mixing his pitches well and kept the Orioles off balance most of the game with some of them taking feeble hacks at pitches that would move a foot outside the zone. 

For those curious I had a look at Roy Halladay’s two seam fastball movement from his last start (H-Break -9.15, V-Break 5.12)  to show the type of movement Drabek has.  Drabek also throws his about 5 MPH harder, not to compare the two of course but just showing the serious talent that potentially lies within Drabek’s right arm.

Throwing a 95-mph fastball with movement is one thing, adding the changeup, slider, cutter and curveball at various counts is another.  Kyle Drabek could be a breakout starting pitcher if he remains diligent and focused on his recently altered mechanics.  The changes have allowed him to drive through his pitches with a more balanced lower half and the results thus far have been impressive.

A look at how he mixed in his pitches by inning:

If he can continue to couple decent control with his natural movement and velocity we may be seeing the progression of a premiere pitcher in the American League.  As a key piece that saw Roy Halladay traded to the Philadelphia Phillies Blue Jays fans can only hope.

What do you think?

10 Responses to “Kyle Drabek Looking Like An Elite Starting Pitcher”

  1. 1 Steven St Croix April 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    What a stupid name for a website. It’s a TV show!!

  2. 4 knowhitter April 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Makes the Halladay trade look a lot better. great piece!

    • 5 AL Eastbound (@ALEastbound) April 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      Yeah, when you look at other trades involving top starting pitchers (Cliff Lee x2, CC Sabathia) the Roy Halladay traded looked pretty solid straight away. Anthony Gose, Travis D’Arnaud and Kyle Drabek might be poised to help the Jays for the next decade. Hopefully.

      • 6 knowhitter April 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm

        Defiantly better than CC and Cliff Lee deals. Can’t agree more

      • 7 Gus April 21, 2012 at 12:18 am

        But original deal was D’Arnaud, and Drabek and Michael taylor that was turned into Wallace. Thats the deal. AA turned it even better by getting Gose less than a year later. But I dont think its fair to say the original trade and having wallace was a good thing, it would have brought the trade grade down looking back now

      • 8 AL Eastbound (@ALEastbound) April 21, 2012 at 10:30 am

        @Gus, yes I should have clarified but all things considered the Jays have received Anthony Gose as an indirect result of the Roy Halladay trade (via Brett Wallace). The Phils were reluctant to part with Gose at the time and AA had targetted him in the hopes of landing him, which he did.

  1. 1 Kyle Drabek To Undergo Tommy John Surgery For Second Time « AL Eastbound & Down Trackback on June 18, 2012 at 9:42 pm
  2. 2 Drew Hutchison Shaky In MLB Debut « AL Eastbound & Down Trackback on April 21, 2012 at 11:31 pm

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