Scouting Kyle Drabek’s First 2011 Start


Kyle Drabek was nothing short of amazing during his first start of the 2011 season, striking out 7 (4 swinging, 3 looking) over 7 IP of 1 hit ball vs the Twins.

  • Kyle put away 92% of batters after reaching two strikes.
  • The Twins had a ‘well-hit average’ of only .095. The MLB average is .203
  • Amazing, 73% of 2-0, 2-1 & 3 ball counts ended in outs. The MLB average is 52%
  • When the Twins make contact they beat the ball into the ground for a 79% GB rate
  • Pitch F/X Scouting

    Via AP regarding Drabek’s Cutter

    Even after looking at his single on video in the clubhouse, Span wasn’t sure what pitch he’d hit.

    “It was a cutter, I think,” Span said. “I don’t know. That’s how nasty (Drabek) was today. I just saw the ball and reacted. Thank God we didn’t get no-hit today.”

    Kyle’s stuff registers differently on the MLB Pitch F/X installed radar guns. Drabek’s cutter has so much movement that it registers as a curveball.

    According to Pitch F/X Kyle threw a 91 MPH curve in the first, and continued throughout the game with 90+ curves. In reality Drabek’s curve registered in around 81 – 85 MPH

    Now that’s some cutter movement!

    One of the amazing things about this start from a Pitch F/X standpoint is Drabek’s use of the strike zone. He struck out 7 and walked 3, yet he spent the majority of the game outside of the zone.


    Human Scouting

    According to human scouting, Kyle threw only fastballs (three types), a curve and a change. I would have to agree with this assessment regarding fastballs. From my observations Kyle threw a 93/94 MPH 4-seamer upstairs, a 2-seamer low and inside (90 – 92) to lefties and a cutter that he used all over the zone.

    One interesting note is the location of Kyle’s off-speed pitches. These images (via insid edge scouting service) showcase Drabek’s curve only being thrown away to batters to RHB and his change only being thrown away to lefties.


    However, fastballs were used as off-speed offerings throughout the game. Kyle used his cutter as a backdoor pitch vs lefties and a chase pitch vs righties. He also kept his two-seamer inside to lefties and away to righties.


    I don’t know what to say. That was a dominate performance. The Twins looked baffled, taking a plethora of weak hacks throughout the game. If Kyle can keep that up the Jays could have a powerhouse strikeout combo when Morrow returns.

    (Note: Stats & info via pitch f/x, edge scouting, fan graphs, box score, AP, daylife image, etc)

    has written for since 2006. Follow Matthias on Twitter, Facebook and Google +

    • Kay

      You need to footnote all of your sources in both MLA and APA format or else I will think that you invented the pitch f/x system yourself!

      Drabek looked great – Halladay who?

      • Matthias

        You’re right. I’ll need to install a footnote program on the blog :)

        Doc Drabek carving up opposing hitters with his cutter.

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