Remember this guy? The Lake County outfielder who homered off Roger Clemens when the 7-time Cy Young winner was rehabbing for the Lexington Legends? That one guy who was mentioned in the 2008 book entitled Facing Clemens just because of one swing of the bat against a future MLB Hall of Famer?
Well the 2005 supplemental first-rounder out of Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, CA is back in the spotlight again here in 2009. His recent outburst with the Akron Aeros is three years in the making, but the clock is still ticking on the 22-year-old who seems to be rejuvenated by his recent stint in Double-A. This season, Drennen began the year with Akron but struggled and hit only .191 in his first 21 games with 1 home run and 10 RBI. He was sent back down to Kinston May 12th, the fourth straight season he had appeared for the K-Tribe.
The record for most games played for the Indians Carolina League affiliate is 383 by Rodney Choy Foo, and Drennen was close to approaching that number last month. In 17 more games for Kinston which brought his career total officially up to 296, the 5’11” right fielder batted .270 with a much improved .395 on-base percentage. It seemed like the additional fine tuning helped him to become more prepared for the adjustments necessary in Double-A, as he was promoted back to Akron June 1st when the Aeros were short a few players on their 24-men roster.
Ready for his sick nasty June stat line? Here it is: 14 games played = .346 AVG, 7 2B, 2 HR, 16 RBI, .393 OBP, .635 SLUG, four multi-hit games, and four multi-RBI games
Drennen is now riding an Akron season-high eight-game hitting streak, and is absolutely tearing up the Eastern League since his return. His batting average ranks eighth, tied for fifth in home runs, first in RBI and second in total bases. While the Aeros are the only team in the league without a single 10-game hitting streak this season despite leading the league at 41-21, Drennen looks like he could be the one to break the barrier this week as Akron takes on New Hampshire and Portland. The Aeros have been red-hot recently, winning eight out of ten to increase their division lead to 4.5-games ahead of the Reading Phillies, and Drennen is a big reason why.
As a Indians fan, it is just really nice to see success stories like this one, where after posting a career .246 batting average in all that time with Kinston, Drennen looks like he is finally starting to turn around. Considering he is only 22-years-old, and has the potential to be a five-tool player, the ceiling is pretty high for this hard hitting right fielder with decent speed. Here is to continued success over the rest of the season for John Drennen!