Faria has a prototypical starter’s frame: strong, durable, and fully developed. He works from an abbreviated windup with a short, compact arm action and there is some effort in the delivery, coming out of a high ¾’s slot to generate both good angle and hard downward plane. He’s averaging 3.4 bb/9 and 12.9 K/9 through his first 58 2/3 innings this year, though he left this start after working four innings in my May 27 view versus Pawtucket after being struck in left calf by a batted ball (he did not miss his next turn in the rotation).
Faria has above-average fastball velocity (91-to-94 mph), pitching mostly at 93 mph with run & boring action to both sides of the plate and late ride and life. The fastball can flatten out when he overthrows, leaving it elevated in the strike zone, but overall it has above-average movement. He’s aggressive with the pitch and throws strikes with above-average command.
His fringe-average curveball is in the 74-to-77 mph range, with 11-to-5 break, and with some two-plane action at times, but he does not use it often and it can be inconsistent when he casts and doesn’t get out front with it, but there is enough potential in it for it to develop into an average pitch. His fringe-average cutter has short quick action at times with deception. He’ll use both breaking balls to keep hitters honest, and both pitches make it difficult for hitters to sit on either the fastball or his plus changeup at 81-to-84 mph. The changeup is thrown with same arm speed as the fastball with good deception and late fading action to both sides of the plate, and he’s not afraid to throw it in any count to hitters on either side of the plate – on a few occasions even pitching backwards with it.
From what I was able to see on this date, he looks like he is reverting to his 2016 season when he exhibited above-average control, with a 2.48 BB/9 rate over 151 inning at both Double-A and Triple-A, and I would expect to see an average command and control profile when he gets to the big leagues. I see in Faria a projectable Role 50 workhorse number four starter, with potential upside of a Role 60 number three if the breaking ball improves.