David Price is the favorite player for Tampa-area Jews until they promote Ben L’Chaim from Double-A. They like to invite Price to mahjong games then haggle over him. All true. Oy. Last year, David Price raised his K-rate, lowered his walk rate, knocked a run and a half off his ERA and won nineteen games. You say it’s him showing his maturity, I say it’s due to him bending his cap just slightly to avoid the fate of other flat-billed pitchypusses. Luckily, Price didn’t win the Cy Young. That would’ve sent Keith Law into a shame-the-BBWAA spiral like no one had ever seen before. I will draw a mustache on your picture, Mr. Reilly! But, and unless you’re an alien there’s always a but, it wasn’t all peaches and cream for Mr. Price. His xFIP was 3.99 as he got lucky with home runs allowed and men left on base. He still pitches in the toughest division and he’s susceptible to someone straightening the bill of his cap just a hair more. So what do I think of David Price for 2011 fantasy baseball and what makes him a keeper?
In 2009, Price only threw a curveball 3.7% of the time. In 2010, he bumped that up to 15.6% while taking away his slider. Whatever the case, it worked. The percentage of pitches that batters swung at outside of the strike zone against Price was 31.1% in 2010. The year before it was only 22.5%. This makes me think unless he takes another left turn, he should be able to maintain his gains in his K-rate. The home runs will come back though, unless the Rays make their rafters remote-controlled operated. He’s not a sub-3.00 ERA pitcher. Not in that division, at least. Assuming he can give up those extra home runs without it rattling him too much and he can maintain all of his other gains, he’s still going to be a solid pitcher in 2011. I’d give him a line of 15-9/3.70/1.22/200. For where you drafted him in keepers in 2010, it definitely makes him a keeper. In redraft leagues, will have to see where he’s being drafted before I decide how much I’ll be owning him. Right now, my guess is he’ll be slightly overrated due to his artificially low ERA.