Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Oriole #995- Oliver Drake

Wow, with four players making their Orioles debut last week, it's really pushing the pace of my posts. Considering there's no way I have time to write four in a week right now, maybe slow down a little bit with the new players, whaddya think O's? But then again, at this rate, we will see Oriole #1000 in just a few short weeks!

In this past Saturday's game against the Marlins, Oliver Drake became the third Orioles pitched within a week to make their MLB debut for the team, following Mike Wright, and Tyler Wilson. And it was another stellar showing once again!

Drake entered in the ninth inning of a scoreless game (no additional pressure for an MLB debut, right?) and pitched three scoreless innings giving up just two hits and striking out two. He pitched again in the eighth inning on Monday's game, with the O's staked to a 4-3 lead, and was dominant yet again, as he struck out two of the three Astros he faced and didn't allow anyone to get on base. 

Oliver took the long and winding road to the major leagues, as he was drafted by the O's in the 43rd round of the 2008 draft out of the Naval Academy. He pitched at every level of the O's farm system, including Bluefield, which hasn't even been an Orioles affiliate since 2010, but he continued to rise through the system. The O's actually added him to their 40 man roster way back in 2011 to protect him from the Rule V draft, but subsequent injuries and roster crunches led to his being removed before pitching for the team at that point. 

He was actually a minor league free agent following the 2014 season, but he agreed to a major league deal that once again saw him added to the 40-man roster. It was a deal that made since for both sides since Drake knew that being on the 40-man made a call-up much more likely and the O's obviously liked something they saw in him. 

He was largely a starter over his first four years in the O's system, but was converted to a reliever in 2013 and his results seemed to improve at that point. In fact, as the AAA Norfolk Tides closer this season, he had 8 saves and a 0.96 ERA with 30 strikeouts over 18.2 innings in 16 appearances. Those are the kind of numbers that dignify a promotion!

Good luck with the Orioles Oliver! I have a feeling that you might stick around in Baltimore if you continue to pitch the way you have been so far!

No comments: