Scouting young talent is certainly not a foolproof process. Sometimes the can’t-pass-up players are huge whiffs, while an undrafted player can end up hitting it big with the team that eventually picks him up. Such is the case with former Orioles pitcher Jake Arrieta.
Before we get to where Arrieta is now, let’s take a step back and see how he got there.
The Baltimore Orioles drafted Jake Arrieta in the fifth round of the 2007 draft with high hopes, but before the O’s drafted him in 2007, the Cincinnati Reds drafted him in the 31st round of the 2004 draft, and the following year, the Milwaukee Brewers drafted him in the 26th round.
Once in Maryland, Arrieta immediately showed great potential during his first season with Class A Frederick, posting a record of 6-5 with a 2.87 ERA.
The following year saw him split time between AA Bowie and AAA Norfolk. He went a combined 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA.
2010 was when Arrieta first saw the Big Leagues. After starting off the season in AAA Norfolk, where he went 6-2 with a dominating 1.85 ERA, Arrieta earned a June promotion that saw him finish out the season in Baltimore, and he went 6-6 with a 4.66 ERA. There was great promise, as he finished the season very strongly, going 2-0 in three September starts with a 2.60 ERA. Baltimore had high hopes for him the following season.
While he wasn’t amazing in 2011, he certainly wasn’t terrible. All in all, Arrieta posted a 10-8 record in 201,1 with a 5.05 ERA in 22 starts, but that seemed to be the beginning of the end for his time in Baltimore. 2012 saw him go 3-9 with a 6.20 ERA in 18 starts, and he spent some time in the bullpen. 2013 was more of the same, as he went 1-2 in five starts with a 7.23 ERA. The O’s felt they had seen enough and decided to trade him, along with Pedro Strop, to the Chicago Cubs, for Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman.
Arrieta finished the 2013 season strongly with the Cubbies, going 4-2 in nine starts with a 2.66 ERA, showing everyone in Chicago, and Baltimore, what he is capable of.
On Monday night against the Boston Red Sox, Arrieta had a no-hitter into the eighth inning before allowing a two-out single which broke up his no-hit bid. All in all, Arrieta pitched seven and two-thirds innings and struck out 10 while allowing that lone hit. In his previous start, June 25 against Cincinnati, he took a perfect game into the seventh inning before giving up a hit.
After that remarkable performance, Arrieta is the proud owner of a 5-1 record, which is equally impressive as his 1.81 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.
While those numbers are good, baseball seasons are long, and it will be tough to maintain those numbers.
At any rate, though it is hard to see Arrieta doing well on a team other than the Orioles, it is still great to see him doing so well.
by Andy Mindzak