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Rays take Vanderbilt's Price

The Devil Rays made Vanderbilt left-hander David Price the top pick of baseball's annual first-year player draft Thursday afternoon in Orlando.

Price, 21, finished his junior season 11-1, 2.63 with a school-record 194 strikeouts (and only 31 walks) in 1331/3 innings, allowing a .199 average.

His best pitch is a 95 mph fastball, and he has a nasty slider he can throw at any point in a count. The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder's changeup isn't as refined as he didn't need it much against overmatched college hitters.

The Rays' only concern could be Price's workload; he averaged 121 pitches in 11 conference starts, went as high as 137 and threw 130 Friday and came back to throw 14 more Monday in his first relief appearance of the season, giving up the game-winning, thus season-ending, home run.

Contract talks are likely to begin Friday, and the only deadline is MLB's new Aug. 15 cutoff.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:31am]


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