PITTSBURGH - To borrow from a business-school cliché, it took Jake Arrieta 27 years to become an overnight success.
The former top-100 prospect, the Olympian who dominated college and the minors, was a Major League flop. Arrieta had gotten chance after chance in Baltimore, and opponents flattened him to the tune of a 5.46 career ERA and more free passes than a 24 Hour Fitness.
"He always had electric stuff, and the ball always seemed to move," says Ben Zobrist, who faced Arrieta while playing for the Tampa Bay Rays. "In Baltimore, we saw him as a guy that you just need to wait him out... we would score based on him walking people."
"His command is what's taken the greatest leap forward, the ability to move it two different sides of the plate," says Zobrist. "When ...
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James dabbles in the baseballey-writey world. He won the SABR Analytics Conference Research Award for contemporary baseball analysis. It was for that defensive shifts piece, you remember that? Not a huge deal, he also lost a bunch of other awards.
He has also written for NBCOlympics.com, Pittsburgh Magazine, Pittsburgh Sports Report and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
By night, James is a television news reporter and weekend anchor for WKBN and WYTV in Youngstown, Ohio. Makes sense, seeing as how his degree from the University of Southern California is in Broadcast Journalism.
James dispenses more bad jokes at his Twitter account, @JamesSantelli. It's there that he promises to write in the first-person.