Peter attended Webster Groves High School in Webster Groves, Missouri. Then he went to the Univ. of Missouri.
In 2015, Pete got drafted by the Rangers (see Transactions below).
Fairbanks' father, Shane, played college baseball for the Missouri Tigers in the 1980s and minor league baseball for the Astros organization in 1983.
MLB debut (June 8, 2019): Fairbanks, called up from Nashville, became the eighth Ranger pitcher to make his MLB debut in 2019. Fairbanks did not allow a hit in two innings, striking out the side in the fifth to start his career.
In 2020, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Peter as the 22nd-best prospect in the Rays' system.
- June 2015: Fairbanks was drafted by the Rangers in the 9th round (#258 overall), out of the Univ. of Missouri. And he signed via scout Dustin Smith.
- July 13, 2019: The Rangers traded Peter Fairbanks to the Rays for 2B Nick Solak.
|Birth City:||St. Louis, MO|
|Draft:||Rangers #9 - 2015 - Out of Univ. of Missouri|
Fairbanks has a 96-101 mph FASTBALL. His SLIDER is easily his best pitch that grades out easily as a plus pitch with downward dive and two-plane action. It sometimes runs in on righties like a screwball, when he's focused on throwing in the zone for strikes. He added a CHANGEUP before Summer Camp reopened in July, 2020. (July, 2020)
After his second Tommy John surgery, Fairbanks reworked his delivery with an extremely short-ar action where he never fully unwinds his elbow in his takeaway - instead he uses a bow-an-arrow type delivery. It has paid of as he has improved his fastball velo and sharpened his slider. Like many late inning power relievers, his goal is to improve his fringe-average control to average. (Spring 2020)
2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 43.9% of the time and Slider 56.1% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 97.7 mph and Slider 90.2 mph.
2020 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 56.5% of the time; Change 1.4%; and Slider 42.1% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 98.1 mph, Change 94.2, and Slider 88 mph.
Pete battles hitters. He is competitive and figures out a way to get you out.
Pete discusses his signature slider: “In summer ball when I was 14 or 15 years old, my coach was Matt Whiteside, who pitched for the Rangers. He showed me a grip and said, ‘Hey, kind of just turn your wrist; turn it on the side when you throw it.’ It’s possible that it was originally taught to me as more of a curveball, but looking back it’s always had slider characteristics to it. Regardless, that was my introduction to a breaking ball.
“The grip was similar to the one I have now, although it has varied over time. My slider has been good and bad. For instance, it was really cutter-y in 2017; it was very flat. It had six to eight inches of lift to it, which obviously isn’t what you’re looking for from a slider. You’re trying to get closer to zero. But with the tweaks I’ve made to it this year, it’s really taken off.
“I worked with one of our systems guys, Sam Niedrorf, when I was down in High-A. He was the guy who was feeding me all of my numbers on it, so I could fiddle with it to get it where it needed to be this year. We had a portable TrackMan, and I threw a couple of bullpens in front of that.
“I moved my thumb. I was still getting anywhere between four and two inches on it, and there were times where it would kind of pop out — it can do that when the thumb is lower — so I moved it up to try to keep it on there longer. My thumb is on a seam. It had been tucked underneath on my old grip, and again, I felt like it popped up early.
“I was watching Trevor Bauer talk [sliders], and I believe his is the opposite — his thumb is down here — but I was never comfortable with that, so I moved it up and focused on keeping my fingers on the sides. That helps me get more top-spin. That’s where the depth is coming from.” ( David Laurila -Fangraphs-July 8, 2019)
Fairbanks reinvented himself following a second Tommy John surgery that cost him all of the 2018 season. Peter returned in time for the fall instructional league, throwing with a new, short-arm delivery that came as a result from watching catchers and infielders throw and, as a result, helped his velocity jump.
Feb 22, 2020: With the amount of pitching depth on the roster, Fairbanks is clear about what he needs to focus on over the rest of Spring Training.
“Making the team. Does that count?” Fairbanks said with a smile, when asked what he was looking to focus on over the next five weeks. “That’s my No. 1 priority.”
Despite some bad luck and a tight strike zone that allowed the Red Sox to load the bases against Fairbanks, the right-hander was able to pitch a scoreless third inning in the Rays’ 4-3 loss at JetBlue Park. He struck out Michael Chavis to end the threat.
“I felt good out there,” Fairbanks said. “A little rusty with the slider. Fastball felt great. It’s a little different going from throwing in front of nobody indoors to throwing in front of the people that matter with the organization—instead of throwing on Field 6, to throw at Fenway South. It was pretty cool.”
Fairbanks threw 24 pitches, 15 for strikes, including a pair of changeups, a pitch that he added to his mix over the offseason. Fairbanks featured a four-seam fastball and a slider last season, but adding a changeup could help his four-seamer, which finished in the Majors' 98th percentile in velocity. (J Toribio - MLB.com - Feb 22, 2020)
2020 Improvements: Fairbanks added a changeup to his repertoire.
Oct 3, 2020: Fairbanks is a non-closer who could really help in the 2020 playoffs. He may or may not see save opportunities, but his work will be important.
Nick Anderson is the club’s closer, but the Rays have a variety of guys they can turn to in high-leverage spots, Fairbanks among them. The Rays have, as manager Kevin Cash put it, a “stable of guys who throw 98 mph.” They can all come in and get outs.
As recently as August 10, 2020, Fairbanks had a 6.43 ERA. But in his last 20 outings of the regular season, he had a 1.37 ERA and a fantastic .194/.301/.264 opponents’ slash, striking out nearly one-third of batters faced in that span. He pitched a scoreless inning in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series. His fastball velocity, whiff percentage and expected opponents’ slugging percentage are all in the 90th percentile or higher, and he’s shown an ability to be effective (2.25 ERA) on zero days' rest, which is important to keep in mind in this format. Fairbanks could even be an opener option (he did it twice this season) if the series goes deep. (Editor's note: Fairbanks saved Game 7 of the 2020 ALCS for the Rays.)
- 2020 Season: Fairbanks posted up a 2.70 era, a 1.388 whip, and struck out 37. While these numbers are not the most dominant, it’s Fairbank’s velocity, wonky delivery, and nasty pitches that give him the potential to be a real stud. In the postseason, Fairbank’s fastball sat comfortably at 99+ mph, blowing away some of the best hitters in the game. To complement his consistently high-velocity fastball, Fairbanks’ slider which tops out around 90mph is devastating to most hitters. Also, Fairbanks pitched in a lot of high-risk situations, which means that Fairbanks will have more opportunities to get more saves, holds, strikeouts, and innings in general.
- As of the start of the 2021 season, Pete had a career record of 8-6 with a 4.53 ERA, having allowed 48 hits and 7 home runs in 47 innings, while striking out 67 and walking 24.
Peter had his first Tommy John surgery in high school.
July 22-Sept. 30, 2017: Fairbanks was on the DL.
- 2018: Peter rehabbed from his Tommy John surgery, missing the whole season.