By Matt Remsberg, Special to SI.com, SchoolSports.com
With his attitude in check and a heater that has been clocked as high as 98 mph, Drabek hasn't had much of a problem controlling his stats, either. In addition to his scorching start to this season, he went 11-1 with a 0.82 ERA and 155 strikeouts as a junior last spring.
Those numbers have brought plenty of national notoriety. Drabek was selected to pitch in last summer's Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic, a showcase in Maryland that featured 38 of the nation's top players from the Class of 2006. Drabek struck out four and allowed just one hit in two innings of work, helping his draft stock even more.
And make no mistake about it, Drabek wants to get to The Show as quickly as possible. Though he could have committed to pretty much any college in the country, he plans to sign with San Jacinto College if he doesn't like where he's selected in June so he can play one season of juco ball and re-enter the draft next summer. If he went to a four-year college, Drabek wouldn't be eligible for the draft again until 2009.
"I haven't really thought of a best-case scenario as far as what team picks me or where I get selected," says Drabek, who was named Class 5A Player of the Year by the Texas Sports Writers Association last spring. "I'm just hoping to get picked as high as possible."
Considering he spent plenty of time with his dad in major league clubhouses growing up, it's not too surprising Drabek turned into one of the premier high school baseball players in the country. Throw in the fact that he has been coached by both his father and Roger Clemens (Drabek and Clemens' son, Koby, played together on the Houston Heat club team that won the 2004 World Wood Bat Championship) during his career, and Drabek's pitching prowess becomes even more understandable.
Drabek's command remains precise with his fastball, curveball and changeup to this day. And to make life even more miserable for the opposition, he's developing a slider and drops in a few knuckleballs each outing.
His command with the bat has also remained impressive. Drabek, who plays shortstop when he's not pitching, batted .479 last spring with six home runs and 33 RBI to help the Highlanders reach the Region II-5A semifinals.
Naturally, this kind of success puts a target on Drabek's back every time he walks into an opponent's stadium.
"We'll get kids and adults alike just yelling out things that actually make me embarrassed for high school baseball in this area," Eastman says. "But Kyle doesn't let it bother him at all. He goes out and silences people."
Sounds like a kid ready to make a major league leap.