Scouting Kyle Drabek’s First 2011 Start

kyle-drabek-first-start-2011.jpg

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.

    drabek-01-zone.png

    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.

    drabek-start-2011-1L.pngdrabek-start-2011-1R.png

    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.

    Wow

    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 mopupduty.com 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?

      • http://www.mopupduty.com 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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