Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Meet a Prospect: Stephen Drew

Stephen Drew was the latest member of the Boston Red Sox to either die a hero or live long enough to see himself become the villain as he switched sides and joined the New York Yankees. Obviously Drew didn’t have much choice as he was traded but still, it’s always fun to watch the responses of Red Sox fans when their players become Yankees. Anyway, I digress… Drew is part of the only trio of siblings in major League Baseball to be selected in the first round of the MLB Draft. Drew is the younger brother of former outfielder J.D. Drew and former pitcher Tim Drew. Drew has come a long way since his father found his first baseball glove in a dumpster and is now a member of the New York Yankees. Well he will be after we introduce him to you anyway, this is meet a prospect the Stephen Drew edition.

Stephen Oris Drew was born on March 16, 1983 and spent him high school years in Valdosta, Georgia while attending Lowndes High School. Following in the footsteps on the aforementioned JD Drew the younger Drew played college baseball at Florida State University. Drew caught the attention of the Arizona Diamondbacks and was drafted out of college. Drew was polished so he started his professional career in High-A ball in 2006 and ended the season all the way in Triple-A. Drew was a player in the 2006 All Star Futures Game after tearing up the minor leagues. Drew was called up in 2006 when Craig Counsell injured his ribs and made his major league debut on July 15, 2006. In the same game against the Milwaukee Brewers was another player making his own major league debut in Tony Gwynn Jr. Drew would have a strong 2006 season ending with a .316 batting average with five home runs and 23 RBI.

Drew couldn’t follow up his successful 2006 season in 2007 and only hit .238 with 12 home runs. Drew had another disappointing season in 2008 that was only highlighted by hitting for the cycle on September 1, 2008 against the St. Louis Cardinals. On the same day the Seattle Mariners Adrian Beltre hit for the cycle. Drew bounced around with average numbers in 2009 and 2010 before the injury bug hit him hard in 2011. Drew missed the first four games of the season with abdominal pain and then on July 20 he slid into home plate and fractured his right ankle. Drew would miss the remainder of the season and ended the season with 86 games played and a .252 average with five home runs and 45 RBI. The ankle injury caused Drew to spend the early parts of the 2012 season on the disabled list as he did not make it back onto the field until June 27 of that season. August of the 2012 season the Diamondbacks traded Drew to the Oakland Athletics for minor league shortstop Sean Jamieson.

Drew finished the 2012 season with just a .223 batting average in 79 games with seven home runs and 28 RBI. The Oakland Athletics declined Drew’s $10 million option on his deal and instead paid a $1.35 million buyout making Drew a free agent for the first time in his career. Drew would sign with the Boston Red Sox before Christmas in 2012 on a one year deal worth $9.5 million plus incentives for an additional $500K. Drew had another typical Stephen Drew season in 2013 batting .253 with 13 home runs and 67 RBI and even hit a home run in the series clinching Game 6 of the World Series. This was Drew’s first World Series ring of his career and the Red Sox third in nine seasons. Drew was offered a qualifying offer after the 2013 season that was ultimately denied making him less attractive as a free agent.

Drew declined the one year deal worth $14.1 million and could not find a deal until May 20, 2014. Any team that signed Drew except the Red Sox would have had to forfeit a draft pick to sign Drew and Drew ultimately signed with Boston on a one year $10 million deal with the Red Sox when it was all said and done. The deal equated to a prorated version of the qualifying offer that he declined earlier in the winter. Drew struggled through May and June before turning it on offensively in July just in time to get traded at the July 31 trading deadline. The Yankees and Red Sox swapped Drew for Kelly Johnson and Drew will be the Yankees every day second baseman.

This is truly an audition for Drew who could be the man who replaces the great Derek Jeter after his retirement this season. Will Drew be the next Yankees shortstop? Will he even want to be? Only time will tell but for now, welcome to the family Drew. Make us proud. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)