Katz: Oliver Drake’s journey from Massachusetts to Major League Baseball

From SABR member Evan Katz at Baseball by the Sea on April 26, 2020:

What a long strange trip it’s been from Gardner, Massachusetts to the major leagues for Oliver Drake. He pitched 37 innings as a high school junior. He was a 43rd round draft pick. He has pitched for 17 professional teams.

In 2019 at age 32, Drake had a breakout season. He was called up from the minors at the end of May and played a key role in the Tampa Bay Rays’ bullpen — the busiest and most effective in the major leagues. He won five games, saved two, and held the lead in thirteen others. He helped Tampa Bay make it to the first round of the American League playoffs.

Drake started the 2019 season with the Triple-A Durham Bulls. As early season games began to add up Bulls Pitching Coach Rick Knapp reassured Drake, “I communicated daily to make sure he was staying positive,” said Knapp, believing he would be promoted. “It was only a matter of time. They had traded guys away to make room for him. That’s how much they thought of him.”

Read the full article here: https://sites.google.com/view/baseballbythesea/home/oliver-drake

Originally published: April 27, 2020. Last Updated: April 27, 2020.