At the young age of 25, David Price has already started in an All-Star game, pitched in the World Series and finished runner-up in the 2010 Cy Young voting. In 2010, he posted a 2.72 ERA with 19 wins and 188 strikeouts in 208.2 innings. Those numbers look outstanding but, the numbers under the surface paint a different picture.
In 2009, he posted a 4.42 ERA with 10 wins and 102 strikeouts in 128.1 innings. Even though these numbers are much different from 2010, some of his ratios are very similar. See chart below:
David Price did manage to slightly improve his K/9 and BB/9 but, I don’t think he improved enough to justify a 1.7 drop in ERA. His BABIP has been very low and will be difficult to maintain. We should see an increase in BABIP which would raise his ERA.
In 2010, Price was also fortunate with a HR/FB rate of 6.5 percent and a LOB rate of 78.5 percent. In 2009, he posted a HR/FB rate of 11.1 percent and a LOB rate of 68.5 percent. This is a huge difference in a one year span. Expect more fly balls to clear the fence and more batters to score in 2011.
While his ERA of 2.72 and FIP of 3.42 are very respectable, his variance of -.70 made him one of the luckier pitchers in the game. He posted a xFIP of 3.99 which suggests even more luck. Price’s xFIP of 3.99 ranked him 44th in baseball which landed him between Jonathan Niese (3.94), Justin Masterson (3.98), Carl Pavano (4.01) and Scott Baker (4.02). I’m pretty sure those guys will not be in the Cy Young conversation in 2011.
The Rays lost Rafael Soriano, Grant Balfour, Randy Choate and Joaquin Benoit in the bullpen. The only returning member who threw a good chunk of the bullpen innings 2010 is Andy Sonnanstine. We don’t even know who their closer is going to be. The bullpen may cost Price a few games this year.
The loss of Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena and Jason Bartlett also hurts Price’s value. Those were three big run producers for the Rays. Don’t expect Price to get the same kind of run support or 19 wins.
Carl Crawford was also a Gold Glove outfielder. He is being replaced in the outfield by Johnny Damon who mostly played DH for the Tigers in 2010.
According to MockDraftCentral, Price’s current ADP is 60.14. He is being taken before Cole Hamels (ADP 62.9), Justin Verlander (64.2), Yovani Gallardo (ADP 64.8), Josh Johnson (ADP 69.5), Mat Latos (ADP 73.4), Tommy Hanson (ADP 77.7), and Francisco Liriano (79.1). I have Price ranked behind EVERY one of them this year.
2011 Projection: 14 wins, 10 losses, 3.65 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 190 K
Previous Bust Selections: Derek Jeter, Jayson Werth, Rickie Weeks