Drew Storen

From BR Bullpen

Drew Patrick Storen

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Drew Storen was selected 10th overall in the 2009 amateur draft and made his major league debut with the Washington Nationals less than a year later. He has been successful as a closer during repeated stretches in the regular season, but has failed to hang onto the job in the long run because of a couple of well-publicized failures in crucial postseason games.

As a youth, he was employed as a bat boy by the Montreal Expos when they played games in Cincinnati, OH and St. Louis, MO. He had grown up in Indianapolis, IN, which was for many years the site of the Expos' top farm team, and his father was a friend of Expos trainer Ron McLean, who got Drew the part-time job during the Expos' last years before becoming the Washington Nationals, the team that would eventually draft him. He had a tremndous career as a high schooler while attending Brownsburg (IN) High School. Storen was 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA as a high school freshman in 2004. As a sophomore, he went 9-0 with a 2.07 ERA to help his team to a #2 finish nationally. In 2006, Drew had a 10-1, 1.19 record with 114 K in 71 innings and was named first-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball. As a senior, he posted a 8-1, 0.89 record with 86 K to 8 walks in 55 innings and also hit .400 with 8 homers and 33 RBI. He was named All-State for the second straight year and Louisville Slugger named him a first-team All-American. He finished his high school career with 30 wins, 319 strikeouts and a 1.55 ERA. Baseball America rated him the #49 high school prospect in the country. The New York Yankees took him in the 34th round of the 2007 amateur draft due to his strong college commitment.

As a freshman at Stanford University, Storen was 5-3 with 8 saves and a 3.51 ERA. He was 4th in the Pacific-10 Conference in strikeouts, made first-team All-Pac-10 and was a consensus freshman All-American (though only Collegiate Baseball picked him first-team).

Storen spent the summer of 2008 with the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod League, going 1-2 with five saves and a 2.76 ERA. In the 2009 college season, Storen was 7-1 with 7 saves and a 3.80 ERA, with 66 strikeouts and 8 walks in 44 2/3 IP. He tied for 6th in the Pac-10 in saves and tied for 7th in wins and became the first Stanford hurler to lead the club in both categories since Jeff Ballard back in 1984. He again was an All-Conference pick.

Overall, Storen had gone 12-4 with 15 saves and a 3.64 ERA in two years in college. He was picked by the Washington Nationals with the 10th pick of the 2009 amateur draft; the team had already chosen another first-rounder that year, Stephen Strasburg, at #1 overall. The #10 pick they used for Storen was compensation for not signing Aaron Crow a year prior. Storen was signed quickly by scout Ryan Fox for $1.6 million, one of the first 2009 draftees to ink a deal.

Storen made his pro debut for the Hagerstown Suns on June 18th that year, allowing two runs in one inning. Three days later, he gave up 3 runs in one inning and took a loss in his second game. Overall, he was 2-1, 1.95, pitching in 28 games in relief at three different levels, including 10 games for the AA Harrisburg Senators during which he did not give up a run. He started 2010 at Harrisburg, but was promoted to AAA after only 7 games, during which he had collected 4 saves and given up only one run while striking out over a batter an inning. He then pitched 6 games for the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League before getting the call to the Show in mid-May, less than a year after having been drafted and ahead of his more hyped teammate Strasburg.

Storen made his major league debut as a relief pitcher facing the St. Louis Cardinals on May 17, 2010. He pitched two-thirds of an inning without allowing a run. His first strikeout victim was Matt Holliday. He stayed with the team for the remainder of the season and did well, going 4-4, 3.58 with 5 saves in 54 games in relief. In 55 1/3 innings, he gave up only 48 hits and struck out 52 while walking 22 batters. After the season, he returned to Stanford for a semester to work towards he completion of his degree in product design.

In 2011, Storen had an outstanding season for the Nationals. Given the closer's job, he saved 43 games while going 6-3 with a 2.75 ERA in 73 outings. He gave up only 57 hits in 75 1/3 innings while striking out 74 batters. However, in 2012, an injury meant that he moved back to a set-up role as Tyler Clippard was used as the closer. In 37 games, he put up a 2.37 ERA with a 3-1 record and 4 saves as the Nationals won a division title for the first time. He was back as the closer in the postseason, however. He saved Game 1 of the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals, pitching a perfect 9th inning after Clippard had pitched the 8th to preserve a 3-2 win. He then recorded a win in Game 3 when he pitched a scoreless top of the 9th in a 1-1 tie and the Nats scored in the bottom of the 9th on Jayson Werth's walk-off homer. However, things went sour in the decisive Game 5 on October 12th. He once again relieved Clippard in the top of the 9th, with the Nats holding a 7-5 lead. He gave up a lead-off double to Carlos Beltran but recorded the next two outs. He then walked Yadier Molina and David Freese to load the bases and allowed a game-tying two-run single to Daniel Descalso. Descalso then stole second base and Pete Kozma followed with another two-run single, putting St. Louis ahead, 9-7. Washington failed to score in the bottom of the inning, and Storen was one of the goats of Washington's squandered opportunity, something made even more bitter by the fact that the Cards went on to win the 2012 World Series.

What his Game 5 meltdown meant was that manager Davey Johnson had lost confidence in Drew as a closer in 2013, preferring veteran Rafael Soriano in his stead. Soriano responded by saving 43 games. Storen had a more difficult year as a set-up man, sharing duties with the outstanding Clippard, as he was only 4-2, 4.52 with 3 saves in 68 games. The Nationals missed the postseason because of a slow start, but in 2014, with new manager Matt Williams on board, he returned to a more prominent role and responded well. Soriano was still the closer and saved 32 games, but struggled late in the season, losing his manager's confidence, and Drew stepped in. He saved 11 games, 10 of which came in a stretch of consecutive appearances from September 7-25. His ERA was a minuscule 1.12 in 65 games as he allowed barely one baserunner per inning: 44 hits, 11 walks and 3 hit batsmen in 56 1/3 innings. The Nationals returned to the postseason, this time facing the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS. In Game 2, on October 4th, Jordan Zimmermann was dealing, keeping the Giants from scoring through the first 8 innings. With a 1-0 lead, he got two quick outs to start the 9th, then walked Joe Panik. Zimmermann had only made 100 pitches at that point, but Williams decided to bring in his closer, Storen, and he faltered completely, allowing a single to Buster Posey and a double to Pablo Sandoval that tied the game. The Giants went on to win the game in 17 innings, leaving Nats fans muttering once again about a squandered opportunity, as the loss put them in a two games to none hole. Drew closed out Doug Fister's Game 3 win two days later, but it was not a save opportunity, and he gave up the Giants' only run in the 4-1 win. In Game 4, when things were decided in the 7th inning as the Giants mounted the game-winning rally, Storen and Clippard, the team's best two relievers all year, were sitting in the bullpen as Matt Thornton and Aaron Barrett allowed the winning run...

Soriano and Clippard were both gone heading into 2015, with Storen the big man in the bullpen and expectations for the team at an all-time high following the acquisition of starter Max Scherzer in the off-season. Storen was the closer during the first half and did his job well, successfully completing 29 of 31 save opportunities with a 1.73 ERA by the end of July. However, the rest of the team's bullpen was mediocre, and seeing a weak link, GM Mike Rizzo decided to act. With no top set-up man available, but experienced closer Jonathan Papelbon on the market, Rizzo decided to trade for Papelbon on July 28th. This meant that Storen was going back to set-up duty, with the new acquisition handling the 9th inning. He had some early struggles in his new role, though: on August 7th, he came in the 8th with a 3-1 lead against the Colorado Rockies, but allowed a grand slam to Carlos Gonzalez to be saddled with a 5-4 loss, then in his next outing two days later, he allowed a tie-breaking two-run single to DJ LeMahieu as the Nats lost again, 6-4, to the Rockies. On September 9th, with the Nats falling increasingly far from a return to the postseason, he gave up a tie-breaking two-run homer to Yoenis Cespedes of the New York Mets in the 8th inning, and after the game slammed his locker in frustration, breaking his thumb and ending his season.

On January 8, 2016, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in return for OF Ben Revere. The Blue Jays hoped for a return to form from drew, but did not install him in the closer position, where young Roberto Osuna had done well the previous season. However, things did not go well. Storen was his hard from the get-go, and after one final catastrophic outing on July 23rd, when he gave up a three-run homer to the Seattle Mariners' Nelson Cruz in mop-up duty in a 14-5 loss, he was designated for assignment. he was 1-3 with 3 saves and a bloated 6.21 ERA in 38 games, having hardly seen any action since the beginning of July. The Jays managed to find a taker for Drew as on July 26th, he was sent to the Mariners in return for Joaquin Benoit, another once great reliever who had been struggling badly of late. His first outing with the M's, on July 27th, was another disaster as after a perfect 6th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he was touched for four runs while retiring only one batter in the 7th, turning a close game into a rout, and Seattle went down to defeat, 10-1. Still, he managed to right things to a certaine extent with Seattle, going 3-0 with a 3.44 ERA in 19 games. On January 3, 2017, he signed a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds worth $3 million. The Reds' bullpen had been awful in 2016, and the signing was seen as a potentially significant improvement if Storen could have any type of bounce-back season.

Storen's father, Mark, was a sports radio personality known professionally as Mark Patrick. He is also a distant relative of basketball executive Mike Storen and Mike's daughter, television broadcaster Hannah Storm.

Primary Source: Stanford bio

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 30 Saves Seasons: 1 (2011)
  • 40 Saves Seasons: 1 (2011)

Related Sites[edit]