No pitcher has made more strides this season with their prospect status than Oliver Drake. The six-foot-four right-hander has always been a guy with good stuff, but he was about as inconsistent as it came when it came to consistently showing that stuff starter after start. This season Drake has concentrated on his sinker with fantastic results as he's racked up the ground ball outs while still missing some bats.
After two terrible AA outings earlier in the year, Drake was promoted again to Bowie and this time he looks ready to stay after throwing a complete game while allowing just two runs and striking out ten.
Drake’s hard sinker sits in the 90-92 MPH range but he can also run a 4-seamer up to the 94-95 MPH range on occasion this year. His slider and changeup have shown continual improvements this year as well.
Drake took a huge gamble by leaving the Naval Academy to pursue a major league dream. With his ability to go deep into games, miss bats while getting some ground ball outs, that dream may be more achievable than ever.
Right now he’s the only true starting pitching prospect in AA or AAA for the Orioles. His emergence is one of the best stories of the year for a beleaguered system.
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Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.