DUNEDIN ó Like most young pitchers, Kyle Drabek never had much use for a changeup growing up.
And why would he? When you can blow away other teenagers with the express why would you deliver something that a kid with a slow bat might be able to catch up to?
Itís a universal blind spot that only becomes obvious as pitchers grow and mature and run into hitters that love pitchers who throw hard and harder.
ďIn high school I didnít throw the change,Ē says Drabek. ďMy dad (Cy Young winner Doug Drabek) tried to get me to throw one. I couldnít command it and I kind of just blew him off and did my thing. But once I got into pro ball, I started to realize that it might be the most important pitch youíll ever learn to throw.Ē
It is also a pitch that Drabek is still trying to perfect. Heís tried different types of grip and has paid special attention in the past to Shaun Marcum who has one of the best in the game.
ďIím still trying to be 100% with all my pitches. The changeup is a big piece for me. Once I get that pitch down, it will help me out a bunch. Thereís going to be a tough fight (for a rotation spot) but Iím up for the challenge and ready to go.Ē