After struggling through 2011 for Toronto and then being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas after going 4-5 with a 5.70 ERA in 14 starts, Drabek is a new pitcher with superior control.
Last season, Drabek's official rookie season, he appeared to become easily frustrated and rattled on the mound when faced with difficult game situations. As a result, he spent a great deal of time working on his pitching mechanics and his patience during the offseason and into spring training.
All of that appears to be far behind him, as he earned his spot on the starting rotation this season after an impressive showing in spring training. Dustin McGowan's placement on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation created an opportunity for Drabek to once again prove himself as a viable starter for John Farrell.
He acknowledged that he has learned a great deal, saying, "I learned a lot from last year and it helps me out this year, especially with guys on base and things not going my way. Last year I tended to overthrow and this year I've been able to slow myself down and make the pitch that I need to."
Drabek has a successful start to the 2012 season with a 2-2 start, 26 strikeouts, a 2.40 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.267 in 30.0 innings pitched.
His command and composure on the mound has significantly improved this season, and we should expect his progress to continue.
With some time to further develop and refine his pitching mechanics, Drabek may very well turn into one of the major stars for the Toronto Blue Jays and in MLB.