Monday, March 9, 2009

Top 15 Pitchers: #1 David Price

David PriceDavid Price
6'6" 215 lbs. DOB: 8/26/85
Left-Handed Starting Pitcher
Bats: Left | Throws: Left
2008: Vero Beach/Montgomery/Durham/Tampa Bay
Acquired: 2007 Draft, 1st Round, 1st Overall

It must be nice to be David Price. After three outstanding seasons at Vanderbilt, the Rays made him the #1 overall pick in 2007. He didn't pitch professionally in 2007, and his pro debut was pushed even further back by some minor elbow trouble. Well, he got over that and then began his tour of the Rays' affiliates.

He started in high-A Vero Beach, where he went 4-0 in six starts and earned some praise from Pedro Martinez when he outdueled the rehabbing Hall of Fame-bound righthander. He moved up to Montgomery for what proved to be his longest stop, totalling 57 innings over 9 starts. He was again spectacular, going 7-0 with a 1.89 ERA. Then he got bumped up to Durham, where he needed only 18 innings. He wasn't dominant in Durham, but he was showing all the things that make him, well, David Price, so a call-up to Tampa Bay was in order.

And from there, well, you know the story. Shut down opposing hitters for 14 regular season innings before breaking out on the national stage in the playoffs. He didn't see action in the ALDS against Chicago, but he introduced himself to America when he closed out game 7 of the ALCS against the vaunted Red Sox.

Now for 2009 he's ready to do it for a full season as a starting pitcher. That might have to wait a few weeks as the Rays may opt to have him start in Durham in an effort to keep his innings limited. It won't be long before Price is up and in the Rays rotation, though. After all, it's tough to keep a 6'6" lefty with a mid-90's fastball and a hard, sharp-breaking slider. Not when he can command those pitches and work both sides of the plate. And not when he wowed everybody with his poise and work ethic.

The one thing Price has left to master is the change-up, which right now rates as an average pitch. Should he begin the year with Durham, he'll make it a point to work on that. But finding any sort of flaw with Price would be nitpicking to the extreme, and he has enough talent to be the Rays best starter by the end of the 2009 season.


  1. Why doesn't he do what Johan Santana did and throw a changeup at every batter in AAA(if sent there)?Santana did it and now he has one of the best changeups in the league.

  2. I don't think you need to go to that extreme. Just as long as he's throwing it a decent amount it should improve.