Drake had great success with his fastball this year, as batters hit only .160 against it, the lowest mark of his career. He also got more strikeouts with it (32) than his previous high of 30 in 2017, despite throwing it 154 fewer times. Its velocity has increased by 2 mph since his first season in the bigs, which is always a positive trend to see.
After spending 2018 travelling around half the league and playing for 5 teams, Drake settled in Tampa Bay and actually had a very good year in 2019. His 3.21 ERA and 0.98 WHIP were huge improvements on his career average. His 84 mph split-finger was the main reason for the improvement. He threw it 13% more than in 2018 and got good results, including a 37.8 Whiff% while registering a .247 xWOBA.
By far his best pitch, Drake’s splitter stifled opponents to a .292 wOBA and 34.0% strikeout rate. The reliever might want to sideline his new curveball and ineffective four-seamer in favor of more splitters, which drew a paltry 64.3% contact rate.
Drake’s four-seamer induced a pop up on one-third of his batted balls. Yet it still produced a lacking -2.2 pVal with a .371 wOBA. While the pitch’s swinging-swing rate jumped to 10.3% on account of an earnest velocity gain, he still struggled to control it, posting a 52.3% zone rate.
Introduced to his arsenal in 2018, Drake’s curveball was a seldom-used third offering that netted a .421 wOBA and 7.0% swinging-strike rate. When opponents made contact, it almost always (87.5%) resulted in a ground ball. It’s still not something the 31-year-old righty is likely to unleash too often.