PETE Peter Anderson FAIRBANKS
Nickname:   N/A Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   RAYS
Height: 6' 6" Bats:   R
Weight: 220 Throws:   R
DOB: 12/16/1993 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 29  
Birth City: St. Louis, MO
Draft: Rangers #9 - 2015 - Out of Univ. of Missouri
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2015 NWL SPOKANE   13 57.1 52 47 22 11 0 0 0 1 2 0.246 3.14
2016 SAL HICKORY   24 101 112 80 31 16 0 0 2 4 5 0.281 4.88
2017 CAR DOWN EAST   9 18.2 22 10 13 1 0 0 0 2 1 0.301 5.79
2018 - DL-Tommy John                            
2019 IL DURHAM   16 17.2 15 30 6 1 0 0 0 1 2   5.09
2019 PCL NASHVILLE   7 6.1 10 11 2 0 0 0 0 0 0   11.37
2019 TL FRISCO   6 7.1 2 14 0 0 0 0 0 1 0   0.00
2019 CAR DOWN EAST   11 12.1 10 15 4 0 0 0 2 1 0   2.92
2019 AL RANGERS   8 8.2 8 15 7 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.235 9.35
2019 AL RAYS   13 12.1 17 13 3 0 0 0 2 2 1 0.309 5.11
2020 AL RAYS $565.00 24 25 17 22 4 0 0 0 0 3 2 0.2 2.52
2021 AL RAYS   47 43 40 56 21 0 0 0 5 3 6 0.241 1.43
2022 IL DURHAM   6 4.2 5 7 3 0 0 0 0 0 1   3.86
2022 GCL FCL   1 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   9.00
2022 AL RAYS   1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0    
2023 GCL FCL   1 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2023 IL DURHAM   1 0.2 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   13.50
2023 AL RAYS $3,667.00 49 45.1 26 68 20 0 0 0 25 2 4 0.164 2.58
Personal
  • 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.

  • Strangest But Truest Injuries of 2023: 

    We always award Injury of the Year bonus points to guys who manage to get hurt while they’re already hurt. So here’s to Rays relief warrior Pete Fairbanks, who couldn’t even cover up the Giannis imitation that got him into this mess.

    When Fairbanks met with the Rays’ media delegation in June after returning from a stint on the injured list with hip inflammation, he brought a dazzling black eye with him — and one of the great How I Did This stories of the 21st century.

    Turns out this could happen to you, too, if you try dunking on your 3-year-old in the pool.

    “I pulled the pool basketball hoop down onto my face after dunking on a 3-year-old,” Fairbanks confessed, “to kind of teach him an early lesson in life that, when you’re in the paint, you cannot be caught unawares underneath the rim.”

    To which we can only hope his son said: Send it in, Jerome! (Stark - Dec 28, 2023- The Athletic)

    TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2015: Fairbanks was drafted by the Rangers in the 9th round, out of the Univ. of Missouri. And he signed via scout Dustin Smith.

  • July 13, 2019: The Rangers traded Fairbanks to the Rays for 2B Nick Solak.

  • Jan. 27, 2023: Fairbanks and the Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed to a three-year, $12 million contract.
Pitching
  • 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 in July 2020. (July 2020)

  • After his second Tommy John surgery, Fairbanks reworked his delivery with an extremely short-arm 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.

  • 2021 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 51.2% of the time; Change less than 1%; Slider 41.9%; and Cutter 6.7% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 97.6 mph, Change 94.2, Slider 85.9, and Cutter 95.6 mph.

  • 2022 Season Pitch Usage/Avg. Velo: Fastball 61% - 99 mph; Slider 38% - 86 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 reliever 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 against the Astros.)

  • 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 90 mph 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.

  • July 7, 2021: Five Rays pitchers combined to throw seven no-hit innings in Tampa Bay's 4-0 win over Cleveland, in what was the second leg of a doubleheader. It's the second seven-inning no-hitter this season, and will not be designated as official.

    The Rays set up the second leg of the doubleheader as a bullpen game, with righthander Collin McHugh getting the ball to start. He retired all six batters he faced, with three strikeouts.

    McHugh gave way to Josh Fleming, who went 2.2 frames with a walk and two strikeouts. Diego Castillo, Matt Wisler and Pete Fairbanks took care of the final seven outs. (Nick Selbe - SI)

  • 2021 Improvements: I have always been fascinated by Pete Fairbanks.

    In 2020, Ian and I documented the changes he made to his slider, which helped turn him into the elite bullpen arm we know him to be today. But in 2021, he made another interesting change, this time to his four-seam fastball.

    When you think of Fairbanks, you probably think of a few things right away. Maybe you think of his intimidating stare. Perhaps you think of his high velocity, or his slider that gets swings and misses in droves. What may not be as apparent is that he has one of the more unique fastball shapes in baseball.

    Over the past two years, Fairbanks has netted a whiff rate of over 30 percent on four-seam fastballs, which is one of the highest rates in the sport.

    Fairbanks’ four-seam fastball has the attributes one would expect of a pitch with a whiff rate that high. At a 97.1 mph average pitch speed, that ranks in the 95th percentile. With a spin rate just shy of 2400 rpm, that puts him in the 89th percentile. And with 9.58 inches of rise according to Pitch Info, Fairbanks’ four-seamer also ranks above the 90th percentile.  (Brian_Menendez@briantalksbsb - Dec 13, 2021)

  • 2022 Season: The right-handed reliever was already a dominant reliever before 2022, but managed to take his game to another level last year. 

    The sample size is not the biggest at 24 innings, but Fairbanks was perhaps the most impressive reliever in the American League.

    With a tiny 1.13 ERA and an even better 0.86 WHIP, his run-prevention stats look exactly like they would if you were playing a video game with the opposition level set at “easy.”

    He also struck out 38 hitters against just 3 walks.

    Yes, you read that right: it’s a 3/38 BB/K ratio.

    Those numbers earned him a three-year, $12 million extension from the Rays, who will be counting on him to lead their bullpen once again in a much more competitive American League landscape.  (Andres Chavez - Feb. 2, 2023)

  • 2023 Improvements: Fairbanks added a Splitter to his arsenal.

  • 2023 Season: He has a lightning fast, 100-mph fastball. He finished top 20 in MLB in saves with 25 last season and had a 2.38 ERA. His K rate was also off of the charts, with 68 strikeouts in 45.1 innings of play. The Tampa Bay closer should be a bullpen anchor in 2024.

    In his five seasons in Tampa, Fairbanks has combined for a 2
    .86 ERA/2.48 FIP/1.192 WHIP in 151.0 innings over 160 appearances. His 25 saves last season were by far a career-high, and projections from FanGraphs have him topping that this season by notching 30 saves.
Career Injury Report
  • 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.

  • April 9-May 5, 2021: Pete was on the IL with a right rotator cuff strain. 

  • July 29-Aug 27, 2021: Pete was on the IL with right shoulder inflammation.

  • March 27, 2022: The Rays will be without a big piece of their bullpen for the foreseeable future after right-hander Pete Fairbanks injured his lat muscle.

    Fairbanks underwent an MRI. While the diagnosis hasn't been revealed, he's been asked to avoid throwing for six weeks and could miss several months of the season.

    April 7-July 17, 2022: Pete was on the IL with a right lat sprain.

  • Oct 8, 2022: After not feeling anything wrong during his warmup in the bullpen, Fairbanks opened his outing with a wild 96.2 mph fastball that flew past Guardians center fielder Myles Straw and hit the backstop. As Straw’s at-bat continued, Fairbanks realized he had less and less feeling in the pointer finger and middle finger on his pitching hand.

    By the time Fairbanks had allowed a six-pitch walk to Steven Kwan in the next at-bat, he felt as if he was throwing the ball with his wrist. Kwan was the last batter Fairbanks faced, as manager Kevin Cash and assistant athletic trainer Mike Sandoval visited him on the mound before he left the Rays’ eventual 1-0 loss to the Guardians with right index finger numbness.

  • April 30-May 15, 2023: Pete was on the IL with right forearm inflammation. After exiting the Rays' game in chilly Chicago on April 28 due to a recurrence of Raynaud's syndrome symptoms in his right hand, causing inflammation in his right forearm, near his wrist. 

  • May 28-June 15, 2023: Pete was on the IL with left hip inflammation.May 30, 2023: The Rays were encouraged by the results of imaging conducted on Fairbanks’ hip on May 30. No structural damage was revealed, and the reliever is set to get an injection in an attempt to decrease the inflammation. Manager Kevin Cash said the team will see how Fairbanks responds after not throwing for about a week. Fairbanks’ hip initially “locked up” as he was warming up during Tampa Bay’s May 28 game against the Dodgers, according to Cash.