Jace Van Droogenbroeck

From BR Bullpen

Jace Van Droogenbroeck

  • Bats Both, Throws Left

Biographical Information[edit]

Jace Van Droogenbroeck has pitched in Belgium's First Division and for the Belgian national team. His father Frank Van Droogenbroeck played for the Belgian national team and was one of Jace's coaches in Belgium. [1]

Van Droogenbroeck was on his father's K. Deurne Spartans when they won their first Belgian title in 2015. He hit .194/.266/.204 and stole 10 bases in 14 tries, while going 0-3 with a 10.20 ERA and .394 opponent average. [2] In the 2016 Federations Cup, he had a 4.26 ERA and went 3 for 8 at the plate with 4 runs and 2 RBI. [3] He had a 5-4, 4.01 record for the Spartans in the regular season in 2016, showing good progress, though he walked a league-high 66 in 58 1/3 IP. He hit .114. [4]

He debuted for Belgium's national team in the 2016 European Championship. He did a fine job. In his debut, he faced Silver Medal winner Spain, relieving Gregg Mareels in the 6th with a 11-1 deficit. He retired Leomartires Rodriguez, walked Daniel Martinez, got Oscar Angulo to hit into a force and retired former major leaguer Engel Beltre. Matthew Joossens relieved in the 7th. His next game was in another one-sided affair; this time, he succeeded Kyran Weemaels in the 4th with a 18-0 lead. He allowed a double to Christian Christopoulos, then got Angelos Argyropoulus on a fly. Nikolaos Lekkas grounded the runner over and a wild pitch made it 18-1 before Van Droogenbroeck fanned Deeno Mantis. Mareels relieved in the 5th. His last outing was a strong one against champion the Netherlands. He relieved Weemaels in the 8th with two on, no outs and a 11-3 deficit. He got Dwayne Kemp to hit into a run-scoring double play then Chadwick Tromp flew out. In the 9th, retired Stijn van der Meer and Chris Garia before getting wild with three straight walks to Nick Urbanus, Dudley Leonora and Gianison Boekhoudt. He recovered to get Kalian Sams on a fly for two shutout innings after his moundmates had been roughed up. Only Ben Van Nuffel had a better ERA on the event than Van Droogenbroeck's 2.25. [5]

Jace signed with De Glaskoning Twins for the 2017 Hoofdklasse but did not pitch in a game for them. [6] He wound up back with the Spartans, going 5-6 with a 5.42 ERA. He was 6th in the league with 67 K (between Kenny Vandenbranden and Robbe De Jongh), tied Luis Larrinaga and Mareels for 7th in wins and was 6th in losses. He threw 17 wild pitches, 2nd in the circuit. [7]

Moving to the Borgerhout Squirrels for 2018, he allowed four runs in four innings against the Therwil Flyers in the 2018 CEB Cup but Vandenbranden pitched shutout ball the rest of the way. The Squirrels won the event. [8] In the regular season, he continued to improve (5-4, Sv, 3.30) on the mound while hitting little (1 for 17, 3B). He was 6th in ERA and 4th in opponent average (.215, between Andersen Gerdel and Nicolas Migeot). [9] In the 2018 Super6, he appeared again for Belgium. He pitched one game, versus runner-up Italy. He relieved Artuur Driessens in the 9th with a 5-4 deficit. He retired Drew Maggi and Nico Garbella but ran into trouble against two former major leaguers and a future one as he walked Alex Liddi and Chris Colabello and Robel García both singled to make it 6-4. Yannick Gontier took over and let an inherited run in. [10]

He was 1-0 with a 9.35 ERA for the Squirrels in the 2019 Federations Cup, striking out 13 in 8 2/3 IP and beat host Olimpija Karlovac. He had the highest ERA of any qualifier in the event but was 4th in Ks, between Ryan Rupp and Stefan Koller. [11] For the '19 First Division season, he was 5-6 with a 4.37 ERA. He was 10th in ERA, 9th in opponent average (.252), 9th in IP (70), 8th in K (54), tied for 8th in wins (with De Jongh and Cédric De Smedt), tied Van Nuffel for 2nd in starts (14) and 4th in losses. [12] He was 1-1 with a 11.81 ERA in the 2019 U23 European Championship, losing to Germany and beating Croatia. [13]

In the 2019 European Championship, he mostly contained Silver Medalist Italy, allowing a John Andreoli homer but no other runs through three. He ran into difficulty in the 4th and Weemaels took over. His line for the day showed two hits, four runs (all earned, though half scored after Weemaels relieved), five walks and four whiffs in 3 1/3 IP. Among his Ks was former major leaguer Colabello. [14]