Drake Clearly Ready

Drake had just one bad outing this season

ORLANDO, FL - Having come from the University of Indianapolis, pitcher Donovan Drake appears to be ready to compete for a spot in the higher levels. The standout right-handed pitcher finished his first pro season with a 1.42 ERA for the Gulf Coast League Braves.

Allowing no earned runs in nine of his first eleven appearances, he learned many things since joining professional ball.

"I've learned consistency, how to be professional, how to go about your business everyday, and to just get the job done," Drake said.

While older than most of his peers in the league, college ball taught Drake how to prepare himself for this GCL Season.

"Throughout college you work out and you get mentally prepared," he said. "In a way, it brought me up to prepare for pro-ball, to be mentally ready for the long season ahead."

While Drake may be mentally prepared to take the field, he acknowledges the importance of good technique, being fit for the game.

"I've got a well located fastball," the pitcher said. "I can throw it between 90 and 93, but my changeup is probably my third-best pitch so that's the pitch that needs the most improvement as far as location."

Vladimir Nunez says that with Drake it wasn't a matter of what he has stuff-wise but more about keep them in good spots.

"Drake just had some little tune-ups, but no change to any mechanics or delivery." Nunez explained. "The only thing he has trouble with is getting better command of his fastball and [then] pitch off of the fastball."

With a successful first season now in the rear-view mirror, for Donovan it's all about excelling even more going forward.

"You want to win games and if you don't improve yourself and out out then you might miss out on your chance," he said.

"Drake can pitch, he competes, and he can move the ball around," Nunez added. "He's probably ready next year to come back for Spring Training and fight for a spot in the higher levels."

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