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#MLBPlayers411 | Jacob Faria

   06-19-2017
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Today's #MLBPlayers411 subject, Jacob Faria \fuh-REE-uh\, might only have three career starts under his belt, but the Rays' 23-year-old right-hander has won all three and hasn't allowed more than a run in any of them. In 19.2 innings,  he has a 1.37 ERA, 22 strikeouts and just four walks.

Jacob got the call-up on June 7 after starter Matt Andriese went down with a hip injury. In his debut against the White Sox, Jacob allowed just one run on three hits in 6.1 innings. He followed up his debut performance with another one-run masterpiece over another 6.1 innings, this time striking out eight Blue Jays. With his most recent performance, Jacob became the fifth pitcher since at least 1913 to pitch at least six innings while allowing one run or fewer and earn the victory in his first three career appearances. 

On Father's Day, with both his father and stepfather in attendance, Faria did it again.

“He does belong,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said following the Rays 9-1 win. “We're fortunate he's been able to fill Matt Andriese's role, and it seems like he's kind of fit right in line with the way our starting pitching has performed. … He quieted a very potent lineup down.”

Jacob, on the other hand, characteristically tried to deflect attention from himself.

“I'm the new guy,” he said. “It's not like I'm bringing something extremely different to the table. It's just whatever they're giving me, I'm taking it and trying to run with it.”

While Jacob is the new guy and has made just three starts, his ERA and .208 opposing batting average are best on the team so far.

The La Palma, Calif., native was selected by Tampa Bay in the 10th round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of Gahr High School in Cerritos, Calif.

“Jake came in and did everything right,” Jacob's former high school coach Gerardo Perez said in 2015. “He was a sophomore and I remember looking at (Gahr High School assistant coach Jose) “Pep” (Miranda) and saying, ‘I really like this guy'. He never took shortcuts with regards to mastering his craft.”

During his sophomore, junior and senior seasons at Gahr, Jacob, who was team captain, went 18-2 with a 1.74 ERA, overall. To this day, Jacob returns to his old stomping grounds every offseason to work with younger players as a way to give back to his former mentors.

Jacob's high school success translated to the Rays farm system. Following two years of rookie ball with the Princeton Rays in 2012 and 2013, Jacob recorded a 3.46 ERA with 107 strikeouts for the Low-A Bowling Green Hot Rods in 2014. A torrid 10-1 start to the 2015 season with High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs, along with a 1.33 ERA, propelled Jacob up to Double-A Montgomery.

In just his second Double-A start, Jacob recorded a team-high 14 strikeouts over seven no-hit innings. Jacob would finish out the 2015 season, as well as start the 2016 season, with Montgomery before being called up to Triple-A Durham in June 2016. 

This season, Jacob was averaging 12.9 strikeouts per nine innings in Triple-A before getting called up.

Check out some photos of Jacob here.

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