Zach Elfin has been a success in his first season with the Rays

Zach Eflin has defied expectations and has been superb thus far for the Tampa Bay Rays since leaving Philadelphia.
Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays
Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

It has been apparent that former Philadelphia Phillie Zach Eflin has shined in Tampa Bay in his first season. In a season that has plagued the Rays with injuries to starters, he has remained steadfast and stepped up in big ways.

At this point in the season, Eflin's ERA sits at 3.64 through 116 innings pitched. He has a winning record of 11-6 to match up with this. He also has 116 strikeouts this year.

A shocking part of Eflin's game is that he does not have a great fastball velocity. He can touch right around 92 mph at the highest point. It is also the pitch he uses the most out of any. He also has a curveball and cutter in the 80 mph range.

It ranks in15th percentile in the league. But, his K% rate makes up for its ranking in the 61st percentile. A big part of this is how he can paint the corners of the strike zone. He leaves opposing batters guessing on plenty of pitches regardless of the velocity on them.

Where Eflin succeeds is the low amount of walks he has given up. His walk rate is in the 98th percentile in baseball and he only has 17 walks this season. This plays a factor in the 0 to 1-run amounts in six games he has had this season. 

The Tampa Bay Rays have also been hurt by season-ending injuries in the starting rotation to guys such as Jeffrey Springs and Drew Rasmussen. This has left Eflin as one of the three major starters that includes Tyler Glasnow and Shane McClanahan.

He has been very dependable and a bright spot through an up-and-down season for Tampa Bay.