Hard-throwing left-hander David Price of Vanderbilt was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays with the No. 1 pick in the baseball draft Thursday.
Price went 11-1 with a 2.63 ERA and Division I-leading 194 strikeouts for the Commodores. He is the fourth left-hander taken with the top pick and first since Brien Taylor went to the New York Yankees in 1991.
The first round of the draft was being televised live from an actual site for the first time after being held strictly by conference call in previous years. About 400-500 fans were at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla., and commissioner Bud Selig was in attendance, along with Tom Lasorda, Dave Winfield, Darryl Strawberry, Don Zimmer and Frank Howard.
About two dozen Devil Rays fans chanted ``Let's Go Rays!'' and ``We Want Price!'' during the commercial break after Selig made a few opening remarks and Tampa Bay went on the clock.
It was the third time in franchise history the Devil Rays had the top pick and first since they took outfielder Delmon Young in 2003. Tampa Bay took outfielder with its first No. 1 pick in 1999.
Price's dominant season came to a surprising end in the regionals when his top-ranked Commodores lost to Michigan on Monday. In that game, he came on in relief and took his first loss of year after striking out 17 against Austin Peay three days earlier. Projected as a future staff ace in the majors, Price has a fastball measured in the mid-90s. He mixes it well with an outstanding slider and changeup.
Kansas City had the second pick, followed by the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh and Baltimore to round out the first five selections.
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