Doug Drabek spent six seasons in a Pittsburgh Pirate uniform. In those six seasons, he put up an ERA below 3 three times, and even won a Cy Young Award. Through those six seasons, Drabek had a 3.02 ERA, 3.46 FIP and 1.14 WHIP. Though he only had a 14.9% strikeout rate, Drabek had a strong 6.1% walk rate in those six years, along with a 0.74 HR/9 and only allowed opponents to have a .238 batting average against him.
While Drabek never had a bad season in a Pirate uniform, I want to focus on two seasons here. The first being 1990. Through 231.1 innings, Drabek had a 2.76 ERA, 3.28 FIP and 1.06 WHIP. He only walked 6.1% of the batters he faced, and allowed just 15 home runs, resulting in a 0.6 HR/9. This was the year Drabek did win the Cy Young Award, mostly due to the fact he had a 22-6 record, something out of his control, and every pitcher’s control. While it still was a really good season, Drabek was still 6th in ERA, 11th in FIP and 11th in K/BB ratio. Not necessarily Cy Young level numbers.
While 1990 was pretty good for Drabek, 1992 was even better. In 256.2 innings, Drabek had a 2.77 ERA, 2.97 FIP and 1.06 WHIP. In comparison to 1990, Drabek saw his walk rate dip to just 5.3%. While his strikeout rate sat at below 15% in 1990, this time it was a solid 17.3% rate.
Home runs still weren’t an issue as he surrendered a 0.6 HR/9. This time around, Drabek was 12th in ERA, 9th in FIP and 5th in K/BB ratio, but finished 5th in Cy Young voting. While Cy Young competition was stiffer than compared to a few years prior, Drabek also had a 15-11 record, again something that wasn’t his fault.
However, despite being an ace-level pitcher in both seasons, Drabek didn’t make the All-Star Game once for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He did go on to appear in one All-Star Game in 1994 for the Houston Astros, which ended up being his lone All-Star appearance.