Kyle Drabek is one of the top pitching prospects in baseball.  The son of former Cy Young Award winner Doug Drabek, Kyle showed just how capable he is yesterday, throwing a complete game no-hitter.  In fact, according to Minor League Baseball’s website, he has now gone 13.1 innings without allowing a hit.

En route to yesterday’s no-hitter Drabek allowed just two walks while striking out three. He faced just one over the minimum, getting a double play in the process.

Overall at Double-A this season he is now 8-8 with a 3.20 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 80 Ks in 107.0 innings pitched.  He had actually been struggling prior to this start, losing his last four starts, including allowing nine ER over his last 14 innings (two starts).  

Of course, he seemed to figure things out in his last start after getting hit hard early and now has an impressive streak on his hands.

Kyle was quoted on Minor League Baseball’s site as saying (click here for the article), “[Catcher Brian] Jeroloman noticed my two-seam fastball is what helped me get there because of ground balls and stuff. I had some popups, but I was able to get a lot of ground balls out of it for the most part.”

Of the 27 outs, 13 of them came on the ground.  If he can maintain that (his career groundball rate is 46.2%) while increasing his strikeouts (his current K/9 is 6.7, compared to 7.1 in 96.1 innings at Double-A last season and 7.6 for his minor league career entering the year), he should see continued success.

The 22-year old has certainly opened some eyes, though it’s still hard to imagine him making an impact at the major league level in 2010.  The Blue Jays have depth in the rotation, though you never know.  Having thrown 158 innings in 2009, an innings limit should not be an issue.

He did undergo Tommy John surgery in 2007, limiting him to 32.1 innings in 2008, so it is not inconceivable that he is just rounding into form once again. 

He should be on the radar of every owner, but outside of those in the deeper long-term keeper leagues, he’s just not worth owning right now.  Still, as soon as 2011, he could be a viable option, depending on the matchup he faces in the tough AL East.

What are your thoughts on Drabek?  Is there any chance he makes an impact in 2010?  How good could he be in 2011?

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