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Drew Pomeranz

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Thomas Andrew Pomeranz

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Drew Pomeranz was the fifth pick in the 2010 amateur draft. His brother is Stuart Pomeranz. His father Mike played college baseball and taught Drew a knucklecurve to go with his fastball and curveball. His baseball family roots go even further back, though, as his great grandfather was Garland Buckeye, a major league pitcher in the 1920s.

Pomeranz was named an All-American by Louisville Slugger as a high school junior in 2006. In high school, he was 20-6 with 11 saves, a 2.21 ERA and 312 strikeouts in 181 innings. The Texas Rangers took him in the 12th round of the 2007 amateur draft but he opted for college.

As a freshman at the University of Mississippi, he was 4-3 with a 4.16 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 71 1/3 innings. As a sophomore, he improved to 8-4, 3.40 with 124 whiffs in 95 1/3 innings. He was 4th in the Southeastern Conference in ERA and possibly third in strikeouts behind LSU hurlers Anthony Ranaudo and Louis Coleman. In the 2010 regular season, he had a 8-2, 2.21 record and led the SEC in ERA, opponent average (.190) and strikeouts (134).

Pomeranz was the second pitcher, after Jameson Taillon, and first college pitcher chosen in the 2010 amateur draft. He went 5th overall, to the Cleveland Indians. He was signed by scout Chuck Bartlett and began his professional career pitching for the Kinston Indians in 2011, going 2-2 with a 1.93 ERA in 12 starts. He struck out 77 batters in 60 2/3 innings, while allowing only 44 hits. He then was 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA for the Akron Aeros. That same year, he pitched in the 2011 Futures Game, then on July 30th, was traded to the Colorado Rockies, along with fellow Ps Alex White and Joe Gardner and 1B Matt McBride, in return for P Ubaldo Jimenez. His name was not officially included in the trade at the time, as one year had to have passed since the signing of his first contract for him to be traded, but the deal was made official on August 15th. In the meantime, he had spent two weeks in limbo, working out of the Indians' minor league training complex in Goodyear, AZ.

After a few games with the AA Tulsa Drillers (1-0, 2 H, 0 R in 10 IP), he made his major league debut with the Rockies on September 11th and was as good as advertised. Facing the Cincinnati Reds at Coors Field, he worked five scoreless innings in a 4-1 win, leaving when he had reached his pitch count limit of 65. Jason Hammel then pitched the last four innings for the save. He was the second first-rounder from the 2010 draft to make his debut, one year after reliever Chris Sale had rocketed to the majors mere weeks after his selection. He made four starts for Colorado, ending up with a record of 1-2, 5.40 in 18 1/3 innings.

Drew hit his first major league home run on May 7, 2012, off the San Diego Padres' Edinson Volquez at Petco Park. It came an inning after he took a line drive just above the knee, and on the day that his brother Stuart made his major league debut. The homer came in the bottom of the 2nd, but he had to leave the game after the next inning, because of the bruise on his leg. He made 22 starts and put up a decent 4.93 ERA in 2012, good for an ERA+ of 94, but his stats were otherwise affected by the Rockies' decision to keep their starters on a very low pitch count, that made it very hard for them to earn wins even in games in which they pitched well. His record was thus only 2-9, and he pitched a mere 96 2/3 innings in his 22 starts, well below 5 innings per start. He made only 8 appearances for the Rockies in 2013, including four starts, with poor results: 0-4, 6.23 and 19 walks in 21 2/3 innings. he was alot m ore effective in AAA, with a record of 8-1, 4.20 in 15 starts for the Colorado Springs SkySox. Contrary to his results in Denver, he did not face any control problems in AAA, with a K/W ratio of 96/33 in 85 2/3 innings. On December 10th, he was traded for the second time of his young career, heading to the Oakland Athletics along with minor league hurler Chris Jensen in return for veteran starter Brett Anderson.

Playing for the Athletics in 2014, Pomeranz began to show the stuff that had made him a top prospect a few years before. He started the season in the bullpen and had an ERA below 2.00 when he was given his first opportunity to start on May 7th. He was a 2-1 winner over the Seattle Mariners that day and continued to start, producing a string of good performances. Heading into a start on June 16th, he was 5-3 with a 1.90 ERA, but was roughed up that day, giving up 7 runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Texas Rangers. In frustration, he punched a wooden chair in the clubhouse and broke his right (non-pitching) hand, landing him on the disabled list.

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