DRAKE, OLIVER

Position: Pitcher

DOB: January 13, 1987

Height: 6’4″ / Weight: 215

Bats: Right / Throws: Right

40-man roster: Yes

How acquired: Trade with Orioles (April 14, 2017)

Profile: Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles out of the Naval Academy in the 43rd round in 2008, Drake slowly worked his way up through the O’s system, spending eight seasons in the minor leagues before finally making his big league debut in May of 2015.  He appeared in 30 games over the course of three seasons with the Orioles before being dealt to Milwaukee in exchange for cash in early April of 2017.  After joining the Brewers’ bullpen following the trade, Drake went on to establish himself as a valuable right-handed arm with a fastball/splitter combo.  His fastball sits in the low-90’s generates a lot of ground balls, while his split-finger comes in about 8-10 mph slower and has some cutting action to it, presenting a nice change of pace.

2008:  Signed by the Orioles for a reported bonus of $100,000, Drake split his first pro season between the rookie Bluefield Orioles and the Aberdeen IronBirds of the New York-Penn League.  He saw action in 12 games, all as a reliever, and excelled, going 1-0 with an 0.82 earned run average, racking up 24 strikeouts in 22 innings of work.

2009:  Baltimore moved Drake up to Class-A Delmarva in 2009, giving him his first taste of full-season ball in the South Atlantic League.  He moved into a starting role there, starting 24 of the 25 games he appeared in, going 8-9 with a 4.34 earned run average while logging 130.2 innings on the mound.

2010:  Drake showed enough at Delmarva in 2009 to warrant a promotion to High-A Frederick in the Carolina League a season later.  He worked in 24 games there, starting 21 of them and finished the year with a record of 6-6 with a 4.36 ERA.

2011:  A breakout season saw Drake pitch at three different levels in 2011, reaching Triple-A for the first time.  He appeared in 27 games, making 25 starts between Frederick, Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk and wound up going a combined 11-8 with a 3.32 ERA while logging a career-high 162.2 innings.

2012:  The Orioles added Drake to their 40-man roster following his strong 2011 season, but the increased workload took its toll on the righty.  He made just three starts for Double-A Bowie, going 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA while bouncing back-and-forth between the disabled list.  He finally underwent shoulder surgery in August and was outrighted off the O’s 40-man roster following the season.

2013:  Drake returned to Bowie in 2013 after opening up the year in extended spring training, and was inserted into a bullpen role.  He appeared in 19 games out of the ‘pen and went 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA, striking out 38 batters in 31 innings of work while holding opposing hitters to a .173 average.

2014:  Succeeding as a reliever, Drake returned to Bowie for a fourth consecutive season in 2014.  He made 50 relief appearances, racking up 71 strikeouts in 52.2 innings of work and finished the year with a record of 2-4 to go along with an earned run average of 3.08, earning a spot on the Eastern League All-Star squad.

2015:  After inking a new deal with the Orioles in late-2014, Drake opened up the 2015 season at Triple-A Norfolk but Baltimore came calling in May, promoting him to the Major Leagues.  Drake made his MLB debut on May 23rd and wound up bouncing between Baltimore and Norfolk the rest of the season.  In 13 big league outings, he posted an ERA of 2.87 and he was also selected to the International League All-Star team.

2016:  It was more of the same for Drake in 2016, as he split time between Triple-A and the Major Leagues.  He made 14 relief outings for the O’s, going 1-0 with an ERA of 4.00 and he converted on 10 of 12 save chances with Norfolk, recording 79 strikeouts in 56.1 innings of work.

2017:  Drake opened up the 2017 season with the Orioles, making an MLB Opening Day lineup for the first time in his career, but after getting knocked around in three relief outings, he was designated for assignment in mid-April.  In need of relief help, the Brewers came calling and were able to swing a deal with the Orioles, bringing Drake to Milwaukee in exchange for cash.  Drake saw action in 61 games after joining the Brewers and went 3-5 with a 4.44 ERA.