Kyle Drabek got to Reading sooner than expected. Or maybe it was just in time.
The former first-round pick fired seven scoreless innings in his Double-A debut Wednesday night, striking out four and walking three as the Phillies cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Akron Aeros at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The son of former Major League hurler Doug Drabek arrived in Reading as the reigning Florida State League Pitcher of the Week. He didn't seem the least bit fazed by the jump up in competition.
Selected by the Phillies with the 18th overall pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, Drabek continued to live up to his billing as one of the organization's prized pitching prospects, stretching his current scoreless streak to 16 innings.
After striking out the first two batters he faced, however, the 21-year-old right-hander did run into some early trouble.
Beau Mills ripped a single to right field and took second on a passed ball before Drabek walked Carlos Santana and uncorked a wild pitch, allowing both runners to advance. But Jared Goedert flied out to right field, ending the inning and starting a string of seven consecutive hitters retired by Drabek.
Mills walked to lead off the fourth, but Drabek set down four in a row before John Drennen doubled with one out in the fifth. The Florida State League leader with 74 strikeouts at Class A Advanced Clearwater, Drabek pitched more to contact in his first Double-A outing, inducing 11 groundouts.
The Victoria, Texas native gave up a one-out single in the sixth to Mills, who was cut down trying to stretch it into a double, before working a 1-2-3 seventh.
Drabek fanned Drennen with his final pitch of the evening, drawing cheers from the crowd of 3,233 as he walked off the hill.
Coming off last Friday's five-hit shutout against Charlotte, Drabek has not been scored upon since yielding four runs on four hits over six innings against Tampa on May 23.
Less than two years removed from Tommy John surgery, the 6-foot, 185-pound hurler might be on the fast track to the Majors. With Philadelphia starter Brett Myers expected to miss up to three months due to hip surgery, Drabek could emerge as a possible replacement if he continues his dominance.
Over 67 2/3 frames this year, he has allowed 17 earned runs on 52 hits.
Highly touted Yankees catching prospect Jesus Montero also made his Double-A debut Wednesday, going 1-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI in Trenton's 8-0 blanking of Bowie.
Montero, who was batting .356 with eight homers 37 RBIs in 48 games at Class A Advanced Tampa, flied out in his first two at-bats before walking and scoring in the sixth and delivering an RBI single and coming home again in the seventh.
John Torenli is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.