Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What To Expect From Kyle Drabek In 2013 And Beyond

Guest Post by: FanDuel

With all that has happened involving the Toronto Blue Jays this offseason, it is easy to forget about one of the more hyped prospects the team still has under their control. The Blue Jays have certainly not given up on Kyle Drabek, and fans should also keep faith as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career.

Drabek has been a hyped prospect ever since the flame thrower hit high school in Texas. As the son of 1990 National League Cy Young Award winner Doug Drabek, people knew he was destined for big things. The Phillies took him in the first round of the 2006 draft, but the Blue Jays acquired him as one of the major pieces in the Roy Halladay trade 3 years later. Toronto fans anxiously awaited his debut in 2010, but since then, he has not done a lot to get the fans too excited.

Going 8-15 with a 4.94 xFIP, it's his control and lack of strikeouts that have done him in. His K/9 of 5.93 and his BB/9 of 5.77 are two horrific numbers, and his command needs to be worked on big time. With the Jays big acquisitions this winter filling out the starting rotation, does the righty Drabek hold any value to the Jays?

With newcomers R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson and Mark Buerhle joining forces with Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero, it appears as though the Blue Jays have a set starting rotation that could be one of the best in the league barring injury for opening day. However, Drabek won’t be back until the middle of the summer at the earliest, so it is all about where he is then. His plus stuff, past arm issues and build all seem to indicate that his future could be in the bullpen, and because of that he will not feature highly in many 2013 fantasy baseball drafts.

At 25 years old, Toronto might not be ready to change him just yet, but Drabek seems like he could develop into a nice closer or top reliever. He has a fastball that can sit in the mid-90s, and he can compliment it with three other solid pitches. Perhaps ditching the curveball and sticking with the cutter would help him cut down on walks if he moved to the bullpen.

It's a long shot that Drabek, coming off of his second Tommy John surgery will be a valuable starter in major league baseball. But, if the Jays can fix his control issues, he could develop into a top tier reliever who sits hitters down like he did as a starter in the minor leagues!

Fans might be fed up with the lack of production from Drabek so far in his career, but he has the track record in the minors and a solid blood line to make things work when he is healthy. Any type of positive production from him in 2013 would be great, although hopefully he just gets fully healthy first.

1 comment:

  1. Good take on a frustrating prospect. I starting to write him off before he got hurt, simply becasue it seemed like he was afraid to throw strikes. Maybe with a new manager and pitching coach he will staighten things out. I would let him sit in teh minors, using him sparingly in 2013 to allow him enough time to heal.