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Price's dazzling debut

8

March

Top pick LHP David Price impressed many in his Rays debut Saturday at Legends Field.

The hard-throwing lefty entered in the seventh, hitting the first batter, then stricking out the next three. For some, they weren't even close. In front of a stadium-record crowd of over 10,000 - on the same field with several Future Hall of Famers - Price stole the show.

Price clocked 97-98 mph according to the Yes Network, and at one time 99 mph. The Rays had him from 95-97, with several veterans in the clubhouse hooting and hollering while watching on TV.

"There's a lot of adrenaline, of course, being utilized. I liked it," Manager Joe Maddon said. "The delivery was good the ball was down it was alive at the end. And its all about his composure he walks in this was his first professional and he walsk out there like hes pitching against Clemson on a Saturday. That’s what I saw."

Price faced some hitters with big league experience, including Wilson Betemit. The Yankees he faced were not only impressed by his 97-plus mph fastball, but a nasty slider that reached 87.

"There were a couple of guys in there that had considerable major league experience that didn’t really have much of a chance," Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey said. "Pretty impressive, period, but very impressive for the first time."

For more, check out Sunday's Times

-- JOE SMITH

joesmith@sptimes.com

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:34am]

    

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