Orioles Prospect Profile #17: Oliver Drake

Drake was 11-8 overall last year and hopes to build on that as he projects to start in Bowie.

Oliver Drake

Position: RHP

Height: 6'4”

Weight: 210 lbs

Born: 1/13/1987

Throws: Right

Background

The Orioles 43rd round selection in the 2008 draft, Drake comes from Navy where he was their number three starter.

The former Midshipmen pitcher compiled a 3-3 record and an ERA of 3.22 in 14 appearances (10 starts) in 2007. Two of his losses came when the team was shutout. He set a Navy freshman record for strikeouts in a season (52). Drake also won Patriot League Rookie of the Week in March of '07.

The Gardner, Massachusetts native was added to the Orioles 40-man roster last November. The move prevented him from being taken in last December's Rule 5 draft. Drake went 11-8 with a 3.32 ERA in 27 outings (25 starts) with three different levels (High-A Frederick, Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk) in 2011.

Scouting Report

The Orioles were only one of two teams (Cardinals) that knew Drake was draft eligible. He's tall and brings a presence when he toes the rubber. He touts a fastball that sits in the 90-93 mph range and a slider which sits in the low to mid 80's. If Drake can develop a plus changeup to compliment his fastball and slider, he will be a successful starter in the higher levels. Since a changeup comes out of the hands like a fastball, but slower, hitters will get out in front on the ball and strikeout.

The sinking action to his fastball touches around 95 mph. Drake is dangerous when his sinker works as he retired 22 consecutive Winston Salem Dash hitters in eight strong innings of work in a start last May. The sinker induces a lot of ground balls and therefore easy innings.

With its tailing action away from right handed hitters, the slider is a dangerous pitch for Drake. If hitters are unfamiliar with him they will have real trouble. At times he can look dominate on the mound.

Performance

                                                                                                                             

Level

Team

Games

Starts

W

L

ERA

K

BB

K/9

SO/BB

A+

Frederick

14

13

8

3

2.14

80

18

7.4

4.44

AA

Bowie

12

12

3

5

5.20

47

24

6.6

1.96

AAA

Norfolk

1

0

0

0

2

2

1

9

2


Health Record

There are no known injuries for Drake during his high school, collegiate and professional career to this point.

Future

The Orioles liked Drake enough to place him on their 40 man roster, so expect the 25-year-old to be in the mix moving forward.

The organization will likely start the right-handed pitcher in Bowie. He jumped up to Norfolk for an appearance during the Carolina League All-Star break last year. Drake could very well reach Triple-A if he pitches well this season.

Drake still needs time to fully develop into a starter at the major league level, or else he will be a bullpen pitcher. He posted his best overall numbers last season and should continue to build on his recent success. Drake could see a jump from 11 wins to 13-15 this season if he continues the positive trend.

Estimated time of arrival to Baltimore is late 2013 or early 2014.


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