Remember Kyle Drabek? He’s the kid Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. was reluctant to include in any deal for Roy Halladay. Says something, huh?
In fact, there are whispers that the Blue Jays demanded that Drabek be included in any deal, and that it was a deal-breaker when the Phils refused. In the end, Amaro moved a bevy of secondary prospects for Cliff Lee and kept the young gun in the organization. Wise move.
As the son of a Cy Young award winner (Doug Drabek), Drabek surely has the pedigree. Obviously, just like with thoroughbreds, as you degenerate gamblers know, sometimes pedigree doesn’t mean a damn thing. For example, please tell me one of you out there added Pete Rose Jr. to a keeper league squad in hopes of big things. C’mon, I need an uncontrollable laugh.
The difference with Drabek is he has the electric stuff to go along with his family roots. Check out the 21-year-old righty’s stat line in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery (across High-A and Double-A): 12 wins, 3 losses, 3.19 ERA, 150 Ks, 50 BBs, and a .239 BAA. Drabek kept his K/9 over 7.00 and his BB/9 under 3.00 at both levels. This dude has the goods even though he’s still on the relative down-low in the prospect world.
Drabek has a fastball that reaches the mid-90s, a nasty curve with horizontal-like action, and a developing change. Now, some have suggested Drabek’s upside is limited because he only has two-plus pitches (fastball and curve). Don’t believe the nega-hype. Drabek didn’t start using a change until he reached the professional ranks. Further, his signature pitches are so filthy that he will turn out just fine even if his change tops out as average.
Drabek struggled after the all-star break with a 4.53 ERA and .262 BAA. Here’s another case of physical and mental fatigue setting in with a top prospect. Drabek had never pitched more than 54 innings in a season. Should we be surprised he wore down as he approached 150 IP? Of course not. Because of his workload and injury history, the Phils shut him down in late August.
The Phils were only able to snag Drabek with the 18th overall pick in the 2006 draft because he was believed to have “character issues.” Specifically, he was viewed an immature hothead with an attitude problem. Sounds like most 18-year-olds I know. Well, the ole’ Texan has matured and developed a strong worth ethic. Drabek has the top-notch stuff, command, and new perspective to be an elite fantasy starter.
Could Drabek Jr. win a Cy Young of his own? Let’s put it this way, it’s not a ridiculous question.