Jacob Faria showed immense potential in his first season in the big leagues. What can the Tampa Bay Rays expect from the talented right-handed pitcher moving forward?
The 2011 Draft brought a wealth of talent to the Tampa Bay Rays System. Tampa Bay selected nine players in the top 60 picks, including a handful of pitchers. Perhaps the most promising arm from the class has been 10th rounder, Jacob Faria. Here is his rookie roundup after the 2017 season.
Before making his debut, Faria dominated at Triple-A. Faria went 6-1 with a 3.07 ERA in 11 starts in Durham. The 24-year old struck out 84 in 58.2 innings before the Rays promoted him only two months into the season.
The righty out of California made his pro debut on June 7th and found immediate success. Faria went at least six innings in his first starts of his career with a cumulative ERA of 2.00. While he pitched against just one playoff team in his first six starts, Faria showed immense promise.
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In his first month in the big leagues, Faria finished with a WHIP of 0.90 and an opposing batting average of .202.
Faria struck out 35 and walked five in his first 32.1 innings. His K/BB ratio fluctuated throughout the year as teams saw more of the righty. As his strikeouts went down and his walks went up, Faria began to struggle. In his final ten appearances, Faria had an ERA over five with a dramatic spike in walks. In the month of July, Faria walked 17 in 31 innings.
The season continued to take a downturn in August when Faria hit the DL for nearly a month. Faria returned from injury and pitched mainly out of a bullpen role.
While the year had its ups and downs, Faria proved that he will be a solid member of the Rays’ Rotation moving forward. Faria has a nice split-change and a couple of other plus pitches in his arsenal. He will need to work on locating those pitches in his sophomore season.
Faria is a starter and the Rays will most likely use him in that way. In his second season, Faria will be a solid innings eater that will have a high strikeout percentage.