JD Drew has all the tools: arm, speed, power, hitting ability, base stealing ability and unmatched discipline at the plate. He's a gifted athlete able to produce offensively, defensively and on the bases.
Drew had an impressive June, hitting 12 home runs and 27 RBIs. His June percentages were .337/.462/.848.
But don't get too excited. Drew is what he is. Take out June, and his monthly OPS lines this year are .787, .799 and .753. Those are right in line with his .796 OPS from 2007.
So why did he hit so well in June? Two words:
Drew won't swing at many bad pitches unless the opposing pitcher is deceptive. Drew's hot zone, meaning where he generates the most offensive production, is down and middle-in. He swings at balls up in the zone late in the count, but he won't drive them. If Drew sees the ball well out of the pitcher's hand he will look to pull something early in the count and lay off balls away until he gets behind in the count.
• Plus Arm
• Plus Speed
• Slightly Above Average Power
• Plus Game Power
• Excellent plate discipline
• Mentally strong
• Tends to get hurt
• Not a middle-of-the-lineup type
Drew is as steady in the outfield as he is in the infield. He rarely makes mental mistakes. He generally won't dive for balls, but he gets an excellent jump off the bat. His reads are very good and his first step and angles to the ball are as good as any. Drew has plus range and a strong accurate arm.
A left-hand pitcher with a tailing fastball or a fastball he can command to his arm-side of the plate can be effective with an average breaking ball. A slant-type curve with a 2 to 8 break (movement resembles the hands on a clock pointing at 2 and 8) will be the most difficult pitch for Drew to handle.
A right-handed sinker baller unable to pitch to the top of the strike zone with above average velocity.
The best way to pitch Drew is to.
1. Start him away and down
2. Show him various off-speed second pitches each at bat
3. Use a hard fastball up to change his eye level
4. Finish with either an inside fastball or a back door breaking ball -- he tends to give up on those.
• Drew's career adjusted OPS+ of 130 is good for 20th on the active list. The five directly ahead of him are
• Drew has the same career adjusted OPS+ as Hall of Famer
• Despite his plus speed, Drew has just nine steals in 16 attempts since the end of the 2004 season.