The Maturation of David Price

David Price hatched onto the scene last October, laying claim to the trivia question which will inevitably ask which Rays pitcher recorded the final out in the 2008 ALCS. His transition to the majors leagues as a starter hasn’t gone as smoothly. Through his July 4th start in Texas, Price had walked 30 batters in 38 innings. The 40 strikeouts represented an impressive figure, but still the southpaw needed the walks to drop and soon.

After that start I wrote a piece on my home site, discussing how Price’s ball rate was far too low to sustain such high rates of free passes. Apparently I encountered a case of fantastic timing, because in the month since Price has looked like a different pitcher. He’s begun to pound his hard fastball down in the zone and run it inside to righties. The negatives? He doesn’t work both sides of the plate and developing trust in his change-up/spike curve has been slow coming. Look at the percentages:

K%
Through July 5th 22.3%
After July 5th 18.2%

BB%
Through July 5th 16.8%
After July 5th 4.1%

Basically that’s Chris Carpenter. Price’s skill set doesn’t match up with Carpenter’s (one is a groundball pitcher, righty, less reliance on fastball, etc.) but what Price has done with two of his controllable aspects are dead ringers for Carpenter’s season. Five starts is too small of a sample size to proclaim that this is the Price we should expect to see heading forward, still the signs are encouraging.



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Adam
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Adam
6 years 11 months ago

RJ, What was the “ball rate” you referred to that indicated his walk rate was unsustainable? Also, can you post a link to the article you mentioned? Thanks!

Samuel Lingle
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Samuel Lingle
6 years 11 months ago

I’d assume he’s talking about the % of his pitches that were balls, meaning that he was having a high number of at-bats where he would happen to throw a lot of balls in a row where over the course of the game he really wasn’t throwing that many… basically meaning he had some “unlucky” walks.

Mariano
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Mariano
6 years 11 months ago

Go Rays

Karl
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6 years 11 months ago

Hey RJ,

Loved the Chris Carpenter comparison. Price has been waaay too predictable with his pitches. Take the Red Sox game. Price threw fastballs on 9 of 12 first inning pitches and, as the stats show, he doesn’t seem comfortable with his changeup. I feel like the novelty has worn off and hitters are really honing in on what’s coming. I’ll be honest. I thought David Price was gonna be a star after the ALCS. I still think he will be but this is the learning year.

I’m most concerned about Price giving up the long ball. With 2 more vs. the Sox, he’s given up 13 shots in just innings. Imagine that over a full season. It ain’t pretty.

Karl Moats
FantasySportsAtLunch.com, Writer
Check out my latest post: The Say (Jason) Heyward Kid
http://fantasysportsatlunch.com/8/2009/the-say-heyward-kid
Love/Hate It? tips@fantasysportslunch.com

Sandy Kazmir
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Sandy Kazmir
6 years 11 months ago

I agree, more like David Bust if you ask me, amirite?

Karl
Guest
6 years 11 months ago

Hey RJ,

Loved the Chris Carpenter comparison. Price has been waaay too predictable with his pitches. Take the Red Sox game. Price threw fastballs on 9 of 12 first inning pitches and, as the stats show, he doesn’t seem comfortable with his changeup. I feel like that ALCS novelty has worn off and hitters are really honing in on what’s coming. I’ll be honest. I thought David Price was gonna be a star after the ALCS. I still think he will be but this is the learning year.

I’m most concerned about Price giving up the long ball. With 2 more vs. the Sox, he’s given up 13 shots in just 66 innings. Imagine that over a full season. It ain’t pretty.

Karl Moats
FantasySportsAtLunch.com, Writer
Check out my latest post: The Say (Jason) Heyward Kid
http://fantasysportsatlunch.com/8/2009/the-say-heyward-kid
Love/Hate It? tips@fantasysportslunch.com

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