Note: This is No. 4 in a series of 10 profiles on the top 10 former TCU athletes still working in professional sports. The rankings, while completely unscientific and definitely up for debate, are based, in part, on the players' current and recent success, their status on their team and in their league, and their career achievement. Please feel free to complain about the order or any omissions. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to make your argument and perhaps you'll convince me to add them to a best of the rest list after we count down the top 10.
No. 4 Jake Arrieta, Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies ace kept betting on himself and winning. Arrieta was drafted three times, once out of Plano East High School in 2004, and again out of Weatherford College in 2005, before signing with the Orioles, who drafted him in the fifth round in 2007 after two standout seasons with the Horned Frogs. After three and a half middling seasons in Baltimore, he was traded in July 2013 to the Cubs where he came into his own and turned into one of the most dominant pitchers in the game. His 2015 season is one of the best by a pitcher in recent history and included a shockingly low 1.77 ERA and earned him a Cy Young. Arrieta was part of the first wave of top-level talent that TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle recruited, which eventually led to the program's massive turn around. He went 23-7 in his two seasons with the Frogs, including 14 wins in 2006, which was tied for the most in the nation. He was the first TCU player for Team USA in '06 and helped lead the team to its first gold medal in Cuba.
Arrieta will forever be a Cubs' hero and for good reason. The Chicago Tribune called for his No. 49 jersey to be retired and it's hard to argue. In fact, it seems like an obvious decision. His dominance, which included two no-hitters, led the Cubs to the promised land. In the postseason, Arrieta was huge for Chicago. From 2015 to 2017, he went 5-3 with a 3.08 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 52 2/3 innings in nine postseason starts, which included two wins in the Cubs' 2016 World Series championship.
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