Sometimes it is better to be late than never show up at all. One can make the case that this applies exactly to Double-A Akron outfielder John Drennen.
Drennen, who turns 24 years old later this month, was a high profile supplemental first round draft pick for the Indians out of high school in 2005. He made a splash at rookie-level Burlington in 2005 hitting .238 with 8 HR, 29 RBI and a .759 OPS in 51 games, and then in 2006 at Low-A Lake County hit .321 with 6 HR, 30 RBI and an .880 OPS in 67 games before being promoted to High-A Kinston halfway through the season.
Once Drennen arrived in Kinston
at the midway point in 2006 his career began to stall as he hit .239 with 0 HR, and a .656 OPS in 31 games there the rest of the season. He came back to Kinston in 2007 and had an okay season where he hit .254 with 13 HR, 77 RBI and a .727 OPS, but then bottomed out when he returned there for a third straight year in 2008 when he hit .235 with 3 HR, 39 RBI, and a .631 OPS.
Drennen in some ways had become an afterthought going into last year where at the start of the season he was assigned to Double-A Akron for the first time in his career. His once and bright shining star had faded, and it had all but gone out after he started the season in Akron
hitting .191 with 1 HR, 10 RBI and a .601 OPS in 21 games.
Seemingly as a last resort and to serve a wakeup call to get Drennen back on track, the Indians reassigned him to Kinston
in May of 2009 for the fourth time in his career. Whatever message was sent, he received it loud and clear.
Things suddenly began to click for him while he was in Kinston
again. Whether it was a reality check or not, he maintained a positive attitude and hit the cages hard to become better at making consistent contact, maintain a consistent approach at the plate, and even his bat path. After liking what they saw, the Indians promoted him back to Akron
at the beginning of June and in 72 games there the rest of the year responded by hitting .296 with 7 HR, 30 RBI and an .819 OPS. In 13 combined games in September including the regular season and playoffs he hit .377 with 6 HR and a 1.174 OPS.
Drennen has used that successful finish to his 2009 season as a springboard into this season as he has followed it up with a good year this season in a return trip to Akron
. He was a mid-season Eastern League All Star and to date is hitting .293 with 5 HR, 47 RBI and a .764 OPS in 93 games.
"I am just trying to stay consistent and keep getting better,