Jake Faria was never on any top-100 prospect lists while he climbed his way up to the big leagues. He doesn’t reach the triple-digits and he certainly isn’t flashy, but he can flat out pitch. Faria was a 10th-round pick to the Rays out of high school back in 2011 and one thing scouts have always raved about is his “pitch-ability”.He received the call to the majors on June 7th of last season and for the length of time spanning from his call-up to his last start prior to an abdominal strain injury, he posted a 3.32 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 8.8 K/9 through 13 starts.
He puts on display a fastball that averages 91.7 miles per hour, but something truly fascinating about the pitch is that it rises and cuts, helping Faria make up for league-average velocity. He also throws an excellent split-changeup that opposing hitters only slugged .205 against last season. He also has a slider that has been rated as a potential plus pitch that will only make his fantasy ceiling rise if he can improve on it slightly.
Because Faria was an underrated prospect that enjoyed considerable success in the minors and in the majors, he is a potential breakout candidate and he can be had in drafts for basically nothing. His current NFBC ADP rests at 234, in the same tier as Michael Wacha, Patrick Corbin, and Lucas Giolito. Jake Faria held a 12.9 K/9 over 58 ⅔ innings in AAA last season which is more than enough to put him above the rest in this tier of starting pitchers. In the majors that rate slowed a bit, which is to be expected. However, it would not be surprising to see him average around 10 K/9 just based off of pure “stuff”. Although he may get slightly overshadowed by teammate Blake Snell, he should slot in as the number 3 starter for Tampa Bay to begin 2018.
Jake Faria will not require a big-time investment on Draft Day and is definitely worth the price as it stands. He is not someone who fantasy owners should reach for or salivate over, but he is a name to keep in mind after pick 200. The potential to be a solid SP3 is there, and 2018 is the year to capitalize on the lack of hype surrounding Faria. Without a doubt, he has the ability to become a top-25 starting pitcher this season.
By Daniel Preciado
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