Thursday, October 28, 2010
Arizona Fall League Scouting Report: Oliver Drake
Oliver Drake(Baltimore Orioles)
From: Navy (43rd round of 2008 draft)
The Orioles have a stable of young pitching prospects that are ahead of Drake as far as organizational depth is concerned, but Drake can still contribute on a major league level at some point in his career. That’s more than you normally get out of a 43rd round pick, one of the last rounds in the draft. He wouldn’t have gone that late if teams knew he was draft eligible as a sophomore but a lot of teams were unaware. Fewer still realized that Drake could bypass his military commitment if he dropped out of the Naval Academy. The relationship he developed with the O’s scout assigned to his region allowed him to be comfortable to do so and he signed for $100,000.
Drake has a low 90s fastball that topped out at 92mph when I saw him. He can cut it but loses some velocity when he does. His slider is good enough to offset opposing righties but his straight changeup is not good enough to neutralize opposing left handers. His stuff is not good enough to plow through a major league lineup 3 or 4 times.
Drake has an over the top delivery. His arm action lacks deception and is a little stiff. While his delivery does incorporate some effort, it isn’t an ultraviolent action (see Scherzer, Max) that would point toward future injury or anything like that. Combine acceptable mechanics with his large frame and he profiles as a guy who can give you multiple innings.
Drake has struck out a respectable 7 batters per 9 innings throughout his pro career but has recently struggled with walks. Combine the walks with fringy stuff and you’ve got a guy who gives up 1.40 base runners an inning which is not a good number. I don’t think Drake will be good enough to plow through a major league lineup 3 or 4 times. At most he profiles as a long, innings eating reliever who comes in to soak up garbage innings.
Future MLB Comparison: Dave Herndon