Former Detroit Tigers pitching candidate Mike Drumright was first drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 45th round of the 1992 baseball amateur draft but refused to sign. He continued his education in the then dominant state of Wichita.
Drumright was the lowest-ranked member of a team coached by Darren Dreifort that went 2-1 in 8 games with a 9.77 ERA. The team qualified for the 1993 College World Series Finals.
As a junior in 1995, Mike was 11-3 with a 3.61 ERA, 120 innings pitched, 117 strikeouts and 38 walks. Baseball America selected him to their third-team All-Americans. Despite finishing sixth in the Earned Run Average baseball rankings, he was named to the MVC All-Conference Team and named Pitcher of the Year having led the league using strikeouts and tying teammate Brandon Baird.
He was then chosen in the initial round of the 1995 Entry Draft by the Detroit Tigers. He was the fourth pitcher selected and received a $970,000 bonus.
After making just five singles A starts with the Lakeland Tigers in his first season as a pro, Mike was raised to the AA Jacksonville Suns. Baseball America ranked him as the Tigers’ top prospect and a fourth-place pick in the Florida State League after going 1-2 with a 3.89 ERA.
After 1996, Baseball America ranked him the top pitcher among all the players in the Southern League and the Tigers. Mike went 6-4 with a 3.97 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 99 2/3 innings for Jacksonville.
For Jacksonville in 1997, Drumright went 1-1 with a 1.57 ERA and allowed 16 hits in 28 2/3 innings. After being promoted to AAA, he started having problems. He shared the International League lead in walks with Derek Brandow and went 5-10 with a 5.06 career earned run a verage. He also led the organization of the Tigers in marches.
1998 was a terrible year for Drumright. He returned to Toledo and led the IL and Tigers organization with 19 losses and 94 walks no longer considered a top prospect.
In 1999 Mike revisited AAA Toledo. Before he was traded to the Florida Marlins for Brandon Villafuerte, his opponents batted .305 above him and he was 6-10 with a 5.97 ERA. He threw for the Calgary Cannons’ bullpen to end the season. In 12 games with the Cannons, he posted a 13.87 ERA and lost both decisions. In 21 innings, he walked 13 times and allowed 39 hits.
Having a 55-83 win/loss record, 5.17 ERA, 912 strikeouts and 1,151 innings when he retired in 2003, he was also leaving the game. Twice considered his organization’s top contender and selected in the first round, he never played in the primary leagues.
Since leaving professional baseball, Mike has taken over the management of INK-Drumright Builders LLC, a home construction company in Wichita, Kansas.