Most teams didn’t know Oliver Drake was draft eligible coming out of Navy, but the Orioles did. Baltimore awarded drake a $100,000 bonus as a 43rd round pick and he was immediately thought of as a steal.
Drake progressed through the minors nicely and pitched well at each stop, but a shoulder injury which required surgery halted his progression in 2012. He had been placed on the Orioles’ 40-man roster prior to 2012 but was recently removed to make room for Jonathan Schoop and Mike Belfiore.
Drake made just three appearances in, where he struck out 15 and walked 4 in 18 innings for the Baysox.
His slider has always been a very good pitch that is above-average when he’s really on his game. Drake’s changeup was still a work in progress, but the shoulder surgery might push him to the bullpen where is lack of a changeup is much less of a concern.
I’ve always liked Drake better as a reliever, and think it’s likely he comes back next season in that role.
He’ll open 2013 with the Baysox.