Late Bloomer

“The failure that I’ve gone through makes me appreciate the moments of success much more.
Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta won last year’s National League Cy Young award with a record of 22-6 and a 1.77 ERA. Arrieta had an incredible second half of 2015, pitching to a 0.75 ERA over 107 innings. Jake Arrieta has not missed a beat in 2016. He is 6-0 with a 1.13 ERA. Jake Arrieta is 30 years old, and he and the Chicago Cubs are quite a story.

I saw Jake Arrieta make his Triple-A debut with the Norfolk Tides against the Indianapolis Indians in 2009. I was immediately impressed – not only because of his stuff but also because he showed some poise by retiring the first seven batters he faced. Unfortunately, Arrieta bounced around between Norfolk and the Tides parent team, the Baltimore Orioles for the next five years. Everything changed in 2013 when Jake Arrieta was traded to the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs allowed Arrieta to toe the rubber on the third base side thereby giving him a crossfire delivery and making him much more effective. Arrieta also shortened his stride which led to a more consistent release point, and that helped his fastball command and everything fell into place. Arrieta has been unbeatable. Although this past Sunday he showed that he is human by allowing 2 earned runs in five innings while walking four against the Washington Nationals. Jake Arrieta is a big, strong guy who works very hard at staying in top physical condition. He did not have much success until age 27, thereby giving all of us a great lesson: Persist until you succeed!

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