6. Jake Faria
Jake Faria was a 10th round draft pick in the 2011 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. Faria was not a highly-touted prospect but he worked hard to prove he belonged in the Major Leagues. He has nine minor league seasons under his belt. Over the course of those nine seasons he posted a 3.26 ERA in 154 games, 697.2 innings pitched, 736 strikeouts, and a 1.16 WHIP.
It took Faria six years before he made his major league debut. He went 6.1 innings against the White Sox and allowed only one earned run and three hits while earning the win. Faria stuck with the Rays and pitched 86.2 innings in his first season. At age 23 in 2017, he went 5-4 with a 3.43 ERA in 14 starts and 16 appearances. He struck out nearly one batter per inning in his rookie season.
To this date, that was his best season. In 2018, he pitched to a 5.40 ERA in 17 games. His strikeout rate plummeted Whatever the issue was, the Rays didn’t like it. His struggles followed him to the minors in 2018 where he posted a 4.60 ERA. He spent most of last season in Triple-A before being traded at the deadline in exchange for Jesus Aguilar.
Aguilar was having a terrible season at the time of the trade and would be released by the Rays after the season. Faria would put together a solid season between Tampa and Milwaukee’s Triple-A teams. He finished with a combined 3.88 ERA in 67.1 innings pitched. His strikeouts bounced back in a big way as he posted 82 strikeouts or 11.0 Ks/9 IP.