Rays Jacob Faria Pitches Another Gem: Fantasy outlook

Rays recent call-up Jacob Faria has pitched well in his first three starts. With great control, he is a pitcher worth picking up for the rest of the season.

The Tampa Bay Rays do a very good job at finding good pitchers and boosting their value before trading them. We’ve seen it with James Shields, David Price and Drew Smyly. They are still holding onto Chris Archer but he could be gone soon. Don’t worry because the Rays may have their next ace in Jacob Faria.

Faria made his first start on June 7 after a successful 11 starts in Triple-A to start 2017. Faria left the Triple-A Durham Bulls with a 3.07 ERA, 1.125 WHIP, 12.9 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and a 6-1 record.

He brought that success to the major leagues. Faria has won all three of his starts so far with a 1.37 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 22:4 K:BB ratio. His most recent start against the Detroit Tigers solidified his standing in fantasy, with me at least.

Faria pitched seven one-run innings after giving up six hits and one walk while striking out nine. He threw 110 pitches, so I would like to see that drop but the 17 swinging strikes offsets the pitch count concerns.

While I don’t expect Faria to keep up with this current run, an ERA rise to even 3.00 and WHIP going up to 1.10 isn’t the end of the world. Faria slides in nicely as a No. 3 starter in standard leagues for the rest of the season.

He was recalled from Triple-A to start in place of Matt Andriese, who was dealing with a groin injury, and then sent back down. Though, it didn’t last long as Faria was quickly brought back up to start again and is now a regular in the rotation. Andriese suffered a setback and isn’t expected back in the Rays rotation until August.

With two months of uninterrupted starts, Faria will have a chance to showcase what he did in the minors and first three MLB starts.

Faria has a 42.0 ground ball and 28.0 fly ball rate. Batters are also hitting the ball well, with a 44.0 and 36.0 medium and hard hit rates, respectively. The fly ball and contact rates will need to come down or we will see a few pitches leave the ballpark.

Fantasy owners are already taking notice. Faria has been added in 41.8 percent of ESPN leagues over the last week. He was the most-added player in those leagues in that span, going up from 2.8 percent to 44.6 percent.

Faria will make his next start this weekend at home against the Baltimore Orioles. The division rival will be without slugger Chris Davis and shortstop J.J. Hardy. This could lead to another successful start and possible extension of his winning streak.