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The Next David Price

Rays lefty David Price made 23 starts in 2009 with a 4.42 ERA and 1.35 WHIP after starting the season at Triple A.  This year he broke out, posting a 2.72 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 19 wins, and 188 strikeouts.  He was drafted in the 16th round on average.  How can we identify the next Price?  Before this season, here's what we knew about Price:

  • First overall pick in 2007.
  • Threw hard for a lefty, averaging 92.9 on his fastball.
  • Control needed work and his strikeout rate wasn't amazing, but both rates were OK.
  • Nothing special about his ERA or WHIP either.
  • Doesn't play for a big-market team.

Can we find anyone similar heading into 2011 drafts?

Morrow we discussed yesterday; he might go a bit before the 16th round.  Hochevar and Minor should be drafted pretty late.

Hochevar has tossed some brilliant games over the last few years - 22 strikeouts and zero walks in consecutive 2009 starts, a 10 K effort this year.  He also had three starts this year with 7+ Ks and 2 or fewer walks.  However, he was limited to 108 pro innings with an elbow sprain.  He's the type of guy you might not have to draft but should monitor.

Minor is very interesting.  His strikeout and walk rates were strong - 9.5 and 2.4 in 40.6 innings in the Majors and 10.9 and 3.4 in 120.3 minor league frames.  He was done in by a .396 BABIP in the bigs.  SIERA puts him at 3.29 as opposed to his 5.98 ERA.

What have we learned?  There are always about 25 intriguing young pitchers each year, but Mike Minor is our best bet to be the David Price of 2011.


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