Monday, March 10, 2008

(David) Price Check in Tampa Bay

I didn't agree with many things the Tampa Bay Devil Rays did. For one thing, removing the word "Devil" from their name was, undoubtedly, a poor decision no matter how many people the "satanic" element of their name offended.

Congratulations, management! You've just succeeded in removing any remaining character in an already humiliating franchise.

Somehow, I have a feeling, that I won't agree with a lot of things the Tampa Bay Rays do either.

Last Saturday, Vanderbilt Alumni, and last year's No. 1 overall draft pick in the MLB Draft, David Price made his professional debut in a Grapefruit League game against the Yankees.

Not surprisingly, Price blew spectators and three Yankees hitters away, striking out the side with an onslaught of 98 MPH fastballs, and filthy slider in his lone inning of work. Nothing wrong with that.

What worries me, however, is that the Devil Rays... pardon me... Tampa Bay management might make another bad decision, and try to capitalize on their young talent before it's ready for the pressures and challenges of the Major Leagues.

With other strong prospects, like pitcher Jeff Niemann, and future star-third baseman Evan Longoria, moving onto the big show this year, something tells me that there may be some hurry to get Price into the act as well.

While Price certainly has the raw stuff to succeed in the Major Leagues now, trying to push him too quickly could really hurt his progress in becoming a premier pitcher in the big leagues.

Not too long ago, a 21 year-old pitcher by the name of Zack Greinke was thrown into the number one spot in the Kansas City Royals pitching rotation, touted as one of the brightest young pitchers in baseball.

Greinke, amid high hopes, was absolutely crushed by Major League hitters and expectations, losing 17 games that year and posting a 5.80 ERA in 2005.

Obviously, Price will not be thrust into the same ridiculous position as Greinke, but Tampa Bay has had a history of rushing solid pitching talents as well, and usually not with great results.

I know most people at Vanderbilt would love to see Price represent and put up big numbers in the big leagues. He'll do that, and he'll likely do that soon, but there's no need for the Rays (there, I said it) to make another bad decision and toss him into the fire too quickly.

All that being said, so far so great for Price, who's on his way to a very promising career.

1 comment:

Chip Robie said...

David Price could be pretty special. You've got to like the Rays' chances in the next few years to make some noise. With Kazmir, Shields, Garza, and Price, they have a nucleus that should take them a long way. Combine that with the fact that the offense you've is loaded with stars and top notch prospects--Upton, Crawford, Pena (46 HR last year), and Longoria.