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Saturday, January 27, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT SLEEPER: DAVID PRICE SP BOSTON RED SOX

Yes even past Cy Young Award winners can eventually find themselves in Sleeper territory and such is the present case of Boston Red Sox lefty hurler David Price.  It might seem a bit of a reach to ever as a sleeper considering he has been a top tier starter for years now but that is what happens when your previous year goes completely off the rails as it did for him in 2017.  By now it is old news regarding how Price suffered an elbow injury early in spring training that kept him out until the end of May.  Price would only wind up making 11 starts during the course of the year and he ended the regular season in the bullpen after he came up with forearm soreness in late July that landed him on the DL again.  In between all that, these were Price's composite 2017 numbers:

3.38 ERA
1.19 WHIP
6-3
76 K in 72.2 IP

Looking at the surface numbers, Price was pretty darn good as he continued to miss bats at a high clip and he posted very useful ratios like always.  The problem were the injuries and the fact that Price had a scary forearm issue is about as big a red flag as you can get.  The reason Price falls into sleeper mode though is that most of the fantasy baseball community will be very leery of drafting him this spring and that will result in his ADP slipping by a lot.  That would then put Price into the sleeper tier as the upside would then be more potent than any risk from more injury.

Getting back to the numbers, Price's fastball velocity on average went UP from 2016 (94.1 to 93.8).  Clearly, the move to the bullpen helped there but it does show the elbow trouble did not rob Price of his velocity.  In addition, Price's 0.96 HR/9 was down from 1.17 the year prior and his K/9 went in the right direction as well in that same time frame (9.16 last year to 8.92 in 2016).  While Price is getting up there in age as he turns 33 this August, the fact he only threw 74.2 innings last year will likely result in him having a fresh arm and with a great chance of winning games on a stacked Boston team, a vintage Price year is well within the realm of possibility if he can stay in one piece.  The Price will be right as they say to give this grizzled vet another chance.

2018 PROJECTION:  14-7 3.48 ERA 1.20 WHIP 177 K  


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