Don't be shellfish...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

Ah yes, David Price.  I like to think of Price as a great pitcher who flies under the radar.  He’s like the Spinal Tap of baseball.  Feel free to call me out on this, I did five minutes of research/thinking in the shower for that simile.  Sure, we all know his name, but how often does he come up when you compare him to his peers: Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Adam Wainwright, and Stephen Strasburg?  Price is looking to dominate in what looks like his last year with the Rays.  If he plays well, I fully expect the Yankees to offer him a $400 million, 10-year contract.

Category One: Injury Risk

Price, and pitchers in general, don’t get injured in as many different body parts as position players do.  So you won’t be getting any body part graphs, like I did with Justin Upton here.

Price does have an injury history though.  Surprise, surprise…a lefty pitcher with left arm injuries.  That’s about as unexpected as Tyler Perry using his name in the title of his movies.  Since 2012, Price has missed fifty-three games, or about ten starts.  About eight of those starts were missed last year during his only DL stint.  Before 2012, he hadn’t missed any significant time, but arm injuries are never a good sign.  In 2010, Price had LASIK surgery…I guess he didn’t want to wear snazzy glasses like Eric Sogard.  Sorry ladies, he’s married.  At least we know Price can see the catcher’s signs.

There is definitely some risk that Davey will re-aggravate his throwing arm.  I’m a little worried, but not as worried as I am for someone like Carlos Quentin or Troy Tulowitzki.

Score: 2.5 out of 5

Category Two: Everything Else

I always hate starting this section…because I never know where to start.  I guess I’ll start with K/9 and BB/9 rates.  Here’s Price’s history:

Season K/9 BB/9 K/BB
2009 7.15 3.79 1.89
2010 8.11 3.41 2.38
2011 8.75 2.53 3.46
2012 8.74 2.52 3.47
2013 7.28 1.30 5.59
2014 9.78 0.93 10.50
Total 8.23 2.52 3.27

I also included K/BB, because it’s also an important statistic.  Price has consistently kept his K/9 above 8.00, except for last year, when his injury probably bogged him down.  But even though his K-rate fell, he managed to cut his walk-rate in half too.  This led to an increase in his K/BB ratio.  This year, Price’s K/9 is back up, and higher than ever while his BB/9 is lower than ever.  Price’s K/BB ratio is now at an unprecedented level.  Below is a comparison of Price’s K/BB ratio to other elite starters this year:

Basically, it’s not even close.  I doubt his ratio will stay this high, but I do expect him to keep it high.  Good news for Price owners.

I have a whole bunch of other stats I want to look at from Price, but I don’t want this article to be sprawling.  So I’m going to throw all of them into a single table, and then go column by column.

Season HR/FB% HR/9 SwStr% BABIP LOB% IFH% WHIP F-Strike%
2009 11.1% 1.19 7.5% 0.268 68.5% 5.6% 1.35 58.0%
2010 6.5% 0.65 9.8% 0.270 78.5% 5.5% 1.19 62.6%
2011 9.7% 0.88 8.4% 0.281 73.3% 8.4% 1.14 60.0%
2012 10.5% 0.68 8.3% 0.285 81.1% 6.7% 1.10 62.7%
2013 8.6% 0.77 7.9% 0.298 70.0% 4.0% 1.10 67.7%
2014 14.6% 1.40 10.3% 0.332 68.2% 11.3% 1.18 71.9%
Total 9.5% 0.85 8.6% 0.284 74.4% 6.5% 1.16 63.0%

HR/FB%

This stat shows the percentage of fly balls that go for home runs.  The league average is about 10.5%.  Price’s average is about one percentage point lower than that.  This year, Price’s number is an extreme 14.6%.  That’s much higher than his average, expect regression (the good kind).

HR/9

HR/9 is the number of dingers surrendered per nine innings.  HR/FB% is related to HR/9 (for obvious reasons).  Again, Price’s HR/9 this year is a career high.  This number will fall alongside his HR/FB%.

SwStr%

This stat shows the percentage of strikes that were swung at and missed.  Higher SwStr% rates are related to higher K/9 rates.  This stat is part of the reason Price’s strikeouts are up this year.

BABIP

BABIP is a measure of how many balls hit into play go for hits.  High BABIPs for pitchers mean the pitcher is getting unlucky.  The league average BABIP is around 0.300.  Price’s BABIP has been rising every year, but this is the first year it was above 0.300.  BABIPs tend to regress to the player’s career number.  Price’s number is well above his average, and league average.  Lower BABIPs lead to fewer hits.  Fewer hits lead into my next stat:

LOB%

This is the percentage of runners that are left stranded.  Price’s career average is in 74.4%, Price’s number this year is 68.2%.  This is also his career low.  This means that Price is allowing almost a third of the runners that reach base to score.  I would bet this has to do with all of the homers that Price has been giving up.  This number will rise as his HR/9 and HR/FB% fall.

WHIP

Why would I bring up WHIP?  His WHIP is only 1.18, which is only 0.02 higher than his career number.  I only bring this up, because as I have previously mentioned, Price hasn’t been walking many batters (eight this year, to be exact).  This means that the rest of his WHIP is being inflated by hits.  Hits are more damaging than walks.  So I created a new stat, HIP (hits per inning pitched).  It’s just WHIP, without the walks.  Here is Price’s HIP by season:

Season HIP
2009 0.927
2010 0.815
2011 0.856
2012 0.820
2013 0.954
2014 1.073

Yes, I realize that HIP is just one ninth of H/9, but I used this stat as a comparison to WHIP.  This is the first season Price has allowed over one hit per inning.  I imagine this number will fall.

F-Strike%

This is the percentage of first pitch strikes thrown.  Not only is Price at a career high, but he also holds the highest value among the one hundred and one qualified starters.  The league average for F-Strike% is around 60%, Price’s value is almost 12% higher than that.  Higher F-Strike% values are good because a batters hit worse when they are behind in the count.

Alright, that was a lot to take in, but I promise I only have one more thing to go over!  I want to compare pitcher’s ERAs to their FIPs.  FIP is the expected ERA of a pitcher.  It attempts to remove luck from baseball.  A pitcher that has an ERA that is lower than their FIP is getting lucky.  A pitcher that has a larger ERA than their FIP is getting unlucky.  Here is a list of the unluckiest pitchers:

Name ERA FIP ERA-FIP
Kevin Correia 6.34 3.87 2.48
Clay Buchholz 7.02 4.81 2.21
Edwin Jackson 4.94 3.45 1.49
Ricky Nolasco 6.12 4.68 1.44
Bartolo Colon 5.34 4.01 1.33
Matt Garza 4.92 3.71 1.21
Justin Masterson 5.32 4.12 1.19
David Price 4.42 3.28 1.14

Price has the eighth highest ERA-FIP.  Even though his ERA is 4.42, it should be closer to 3.28.  These other pitchers are also possible buy low candidates for the same reason Price is, but Price is a much better pitcher than any of the other seven, so I would still be wary.

Price has been underwhelming so far, but expect great things.

Score: 12 out of 15

Overall Score: 14.5 out of 20

Weighted Score: 145%

Buy David while the Price is Right.

Bull

 

Jeremy is a contributor for Razzball Baseball. He had a last name, but he lost it in ‘Nam.  You can follow the soldier of misfortune on twitter @Jeremy_Razzball, just don’t trigger his flashbacks.

From Around The Web

  1. All up in My Grilli says:
    (link)

    Great read!

    Im in an 8 team league and Trying to clear a roster spot for some good free agents

    Trying to trade for Trout and Hanley

    What 3 players should I offer?

    I was thinking of offering Segura, Brantley and carlos gomez but I feel thats too much

    Also have:
    Mccutch
    Springer
    Bruce
    Desmond
    Dozier

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @All up in My Grilli: Trout and Hanley are expensive. You probably aren’t offering enough. Gomez, Segura, Bruce at least.

  2. JAL says:
    (link)

    In a vacuum, Wil Myers or Verlander RoS 12-team 5×5? Myers would be replaced by Matt Adams and/or Austin Jackson. Same question but substitute Price for Myers. Can you please evaluate both? Thanks a lot.

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @JAL: Price and Verlander over Myers. Depends how bad you need a pitcher or hitter. I like Jackson. Myers hasn’t exactly proved himself this year.

  3. Justin says:
    (link)

    just got offered my verlander and goldy for stras and adam jones

    what do u guys think? verlander has been bad

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @Justin: Hold the gold.

  4. Harris says:
    (link)

    should I drop Estrada or Beckett for Eovaldi. 10 team h2h .

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @Harris: Bye bye Beckett.

  5. fitz says:
    (link)

    Colon pitched pretty well today. Is he worth rostering in a 12 team league? I see you mentioned his inflated ERA above.

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @fitz: Who are you going to drop is the determining factor. I’ve seen him owned in some leagues and unowned in others.

  6. RaisinGirl says:
    (link)

    Who would you rather have the rest of the way, David Price or Sonny Gray?

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @RaisinGirl: Gray. I trust Price, but I think Sonny could be a stud.

  7. Gw22 says:
    (link)

    Just got offered my starlin Castro, Brantley, wil Myers, and Arcia for his Voto, verlander, segura, and gyorko. 14 team roto and I’m leaning to hold but what do you think?

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @Gw22: Take this in redraft. Pass in a keeper.

  8. Wacha Wacha says:
    (link)

    Hi Jeremy, I was offered H Bailey and A Cobb for my D Price in my 10 team categories league. Should I hold Price or take the deal?

    • MR.T says:
      (link)

      @Wacha Wacha:

      i’m not jeremy but that’s a bargain for you

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @Wacha Wacha: I’m not a huge Bailey believer. Love Cobb. Any other players you could take instead?

  9. buge hoobs says:
    (link)

    So what kinds of P would you be offering to try and get Price?

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @buge hoobs: A player that you would rank in the 80-110 overall range. Maybe sell high on V-Mart or Melky. Great question.

  10. Eddy says:
    (link)

    Why’d this have to come out today?! I’m so conflicted on Price.

    On one hand I’ve realized his peripherals are incredible. But like your hip stat, HIP, points out he’s just being hittable. I don’t know why. It’s driving me insane.

    On the other hand, Grey is saying to sell.

    Today I got an offer in an OBP league:

    Price/Samardzija/Choo for Rios/Cano/Ervin Santana

    I’d like to do it but 2 things are holding me back 1)Will Price rebound to ace status and not this limbo he’s in where he’s a sabermetric star but chalking up 4-5 ER every other start? 2) Is Cano really going to finish the season with 15 HR?

    • ScoutAbout says:
      (link)

      @Eddy: Oh God, this is me. I could get Price for Justin Upton. This is a 12 team mixed H2H league. I definitely need SP and I’m in good shape for power right now (Stanton, Braun, Dozier, Choo, Rizzo, Abreu), but I lost Arenado now and you can never have too much power. But my SP now is Shields, Bailey, Kluber, Cashner, Estrada, Ventura, Liriano, Niese, McCarthy and we have a minors spot so I have Salazar in that spot and hope he turns it around. I want to sell high on Upton right now but only if it will improve my team.

      • Jeremy

        Jeremy says:
        (link)

        @ScoutAbout: I was bearish on Upton just last week. Read up if it will help you make a decision.

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @Eddy: I like the left side of that trade. Ervin Santana sticks out like a sore thumb on the other side. I know Rios is mashing, but I don’t trust him. That’s a personal preference, I haven’t checked his stats recently.

  11. chisoxx22 says:
    (link)

    Estrada is on the wire.. do I drop frier or caini for him?

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @chisoxx22: How bad do you need SP over a closer? I wouldn’t drop Cain. He still has value in his name. Try to package 2 for 1.

  12. "DL"ed says:
    (link)

    12 team head to head
    Missed draft and inherited many players on the DL. I have been working my way out of it with the 6/wk transactions.
    Players on DL – Harper, Votto, Trumbo,Santana and R Zimmerman,
    Kipnis just came off DL and Cargo is day to day
    Which players would you replace on the roster with free agents. I know it may matter who is available but are there any players you feel I should just NOT wait to return?
    Thanks

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      For some reason, I can’t respond to “DL”ed easily. Let’s see if this works.

      None of the players you’ve mentioned are dropable. I’d trade 1 or 2 and take the value hit. I don’t know who you have starting, but you don’t need Trumbo and Votto. I’d also try to unload Zimmerman.

  13. stonepie says:
    (link)

    i fear price may be in the CC/linceum category where their underlying stats are fantasic but the era is still high because of a declined fastball. price seems to be leaving alot of fastball over the middle and theyre getting hammered. since he doesnt throw as hard in years past, they are getting clobbered.
    CC is an even more extreme example of this

    • MR.T says:
      (link)

      @stonepie:

      that’s true

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @stonepie: Lincecum always had walk/WHIP issues. Price has been having changeup issues this year.

  14. Eric says:
    (link)

    Would you trade homer bailey and Chavez for David price in a 12 team yahoo league?

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @Eric: A mid-level pitcher and some guy you picked up off waivers for a potential stud? Yes.

  15. Swfcdan says:
    (link)

    Good stuff Jeremy, knew he had been unlucky but his LOB% and K/BB rate is through the roof. Even his firstst% is sky high, and an 11 InFH%, thats just craze.

    Makes me feel even better about getting Price (Morse and Flyin Hawaiian) for Verlander (and Heyward) in a trade a few weeks back. Saw the warning signs with Verlander and it looks like Price should be a great buy low!

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @Swfcdan: Thanks! Verlander is getting shaky. Good move.

  16. Strasburger Royale says:
    (link)

    I’ve been offered a trade involving Strasburg but after looking at fangraphs pitchfx, his velocity being down has me worried for the long haul (it’s a keeper league) and the fact his best season was his rookie year. I know his BABIP against is abnormally high right now, but do you think he’s a good buy for not only this year but the future as well? Any thoughts are appreciated!

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
      (link)

      @Strasburger Royale: He’s still good. Even with his BABIP he is holding a solid ERA (and outstanding FIP). The velocity might be a part of the issue, but I’d bet that some of the issue is bad luck. Velocity goes down as players age, there is no avoiding that. My biggest issue with Stras is his injury history.

Comments are closed.