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Entries in David Price (12)

Thursday
Nov152012

Nine to Know: Congratulations to David Price, AL Cy Young Award winner

Pitching in arguably the toughest division in baseball, David Price was a star and the best pitcher in the American League.

  1. Price won 20 victories, the most in the AL.
  2. He led the AL with an ERA of 2.56.
  3. He struck out 205.
  4. Against postseason teams, Price went 9-3 in 15 starts and went 10-2 in the AL East.
  5. He started 15 games against teams that made the playoffs and was 9-3 in them.
  6. His WHIP was 1.100 and after the All-Star Break, his WHIP was 0.987.
  7. In 31 starts, he allowed over three runs just three times and he allowed two earned runs or fewer in 23 of his starts.
  8. In only six starts, he allowed 8+ hits.
  9. In his final 18 starts, starting June 19, the Rays were 13-5 while Price was 12-1 with a 2.26 ERA.

 Batters hit .210 against Price from June 19 on

Wednesday
Sep262012

David Price's pitch for the Cy

Every game means somehing for the Rays and last night as the Red Sox celebrated their 2004 season (yeah, there's not a whole lot else for the Sox to do to entertain their fans these days), Tampa and David Price waited to take the field.

Over the first three innings, Price looked anything like the Cy Young Award candidate that he is. The Rays led 3-2 over a mediocre Clay Buchholz but Price had already surrendered six hard hits and a run-scoring balk and had the Sox not exhibited minor league running skills, the Sox would have had the lead.

But by the time the game was over, the Ray were on top 5-2 and Price (19-5) had pitched his second complete game of the season, allowing only seven hits, and he had struck out a season-high 13 to give him a total of 201 for the season.

Here's the consistency that Price exhibited last night:

The Sox had an all-righty lineup against the lefty Price, and you can see Price kept pounding pitches on the outside of the plate.

Price threw 112 pitches overall, 20 on the inside of the plate and only one went for a hitBut it was not just location that enabled Price to be effective. Take a look at the range of release velocity for Price.

Pitches went from 76.5 mph to 96.4 mph

The average pitch was 87.2 MPHAs you can see location + velocity range = a win...and maybe a Cy Young Award.

 


Monday
Aug132012

David Price Waging a Ground War

Rays lefty David Price has made marked progress since he was a 23-year-old rookie flinging mid-90s heat and hoping for the best. Price has gradually punched out more batters, honed his control and in 2012, he has kept the ball on the ground like never before. Price has increased his ground ball rate from 44.4% last season to 53.4%, which ranks in the top 20 among qualified MLB starters. He's waging a ground war by keeping his fastball at hitters' knees.

Last year, Price lived mostly in the upper and middle portions of the zone with his fastball:

Price's fastball location, 2011

Price threw 35% of his fastballs in the upper third of the strike zone last season, slightly above the 34% average for starting pitchers, and placed 26.6% of his pitches in the bottom third (30.9% average). Climbing the ladder a little more than most and rarely pounding the bottom third, Price's 41.1% fastball ground ball rate was below the 43% average for starters.

But this season, Price is keeping the ball down much more often:

Price's fastball location, 2012

He has thrown just 28.3% of his pitches to the upper third of the zone, trading high heat for more low gas (33.4% of his pitches have been thrown down). The result? A big boost in Price's fastball grounder rate:

Price's fastball ground ball rate by pitch location, 2011

 

Price's fastball ground ball rate by pitch location, 2012

 

Price has induced a ground ball 55.2% of the time hitters have put his fastball in play this season. That's the seventh-highest mark among qualified starters:

Highest ground ball rate on fastballs among SP, 2012

PitcherGround Ball Pct.
Scott Diamond 61.2%
Henderson Alvarez 60.2%
Rick Porcello 59.0%
Lucas Harrell 58.3%
Jason Hammel 56.5%
Luis Mendoza 56.2%
Zack Greinke 55.9%
David Price 55.2%
Ricky Romero 54.5%
Doug Fister 54.5%

 

Keeping his fastball low has allowed Price to serve up fewer home runs with the pitch (eight so far in 2012, compared to 15 last year) and fewer extra-base hits overall (a .312 slugging percentage, down from .364 last season).

Now that he's got the holy trinity of pitcher skills -- Ks, control and grounders -- Price has a career-low 3.18 xFIP that's bested by only Stephen Strasburg, Zack Greinke, Adam Wainwright and R.A. Dickey among starters. It's hard to see how Price can get much better on the mound at this point. Maybe he can work on ways to fill the Trop or find a hard-hitting catcher in between innings.