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SoxProspects News

February 11, 2009 at 9:39 AM

2009 Prospect Previews: Bryan Price and Tim Federowicz

With Spring Training set to get under way, SoxProspects.com will be taking an in depth look at many of the system's prospects with previews set for every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday leading up to Opening Day. The second installment of the series features two 2008 Draft Picks looking to continue their transition from college to the professional ranks.

Bryan Price

2008 Team: Lowell Spinners
2009 Projected Team: Salem Red Sox

Strengths: Price’s hard biting slider and running 2-seam fastball are the most advanced pieces of his repertoire at the moment. His slider, ranging from 82-87 MPH, is his go-to out pitch with two strikes, and quickly disappears out of the strike zone. With such a range in velocity, his slider gives batters different looks, and he has the ability to grab a piece of the strike zone to keep them off-balance. NYPL batters were over-matched by the pitch and rarely made any solid contact on it. Price’s slider stands as his best pitch and one that will serve him well as he moves to more advanced levels.. His 2-seam fastball works from 89-92 MPH with a hard run in on right-handed batters. Transitioning from college to professional baseball, this pitch should give Price the strength to pitch inside to right-handed batters, producing weak contact as it rides in on hitters’ hands. Price’s control is above average, but can desert him from time to time given the movement on his fastball. Standing at 6’4’’ and 200 pounds, Price has a projectable frame that should fill out as his career progresses

Developmental Needs: Where Price has above average velocity on his 4-seam fastball, mainly sitting 93-95 MPH with the ability to top out at 97 MPH in short outings, his command of the pitch is only average and can be hittable when it sits in the middle of the plate. The pitch becomes much more effective when it is spotted on the corner, but because he can blow it by hitters when he reaches back it sometimes ends up catching more of the zone. Price’s change-up is a newer pitch to his arsenal and is the least advanced of his offerings. With more repetition and as he gains more trust in the pitch it has the potential to be a strong one for him, but it’s currently a work in progress and inconsistent. As a former college reliever making the transition to starting games, his comfortable level with life as a starter and the development of arm strength will be key to his success. Price hit somewhat of a wall at the tail end of the 2008 season seeing a 1-2 MPH drop in his velocity in his last couple of outings along with the overall sharpness of his pitches.

2009 Outlook: Price looks set to begin the 2009 season in Salem’s rotation. The main thing to watch for with Price in 2009 is how much his 4-seam fastball command improves and the development of his change-up. Success for Price as a starter will come from being able to spot up with his fastball and pound the lower part of the zone early in the count to get ahead of hitters, setting up his wipeout slider later in the count. Price began work on using his slider later in counts while at Lowell last season and look for that work to continue in 2009. A polished change-up gives him another look as a starter, which will only enhance his slider and keeps hitters off-balance multiple times through the lineup. Price participated in the Red Sox strength and conditioning camp in the fall to prepare for a full starting pitcher’s workload. It’s not out of the question to see him move quicker, but given the Sox commitment to making him a starter it’s more likely to see 2009 as a year of stretching him out and sharpening his repertoire.

Tim Federowicz

2008 Team: Lowell Spinners
2009 Projected Team: Greenville Drive

Strengths: With a cannon arm and strong defensive skills behind the plate, Federowicz possesses above-average tools defensively for a catcher. His arm is extremely accurate and he gets the ball off with a smooth, quick release. Federowicz routinely gunned down a runner or two per game during the 2008 season with Lowell, and he handled the pitching staff well in his first taste of professional baseball. With continued refinement behind the plate, Federowicz looks to have what it takes to become an above-average receiver at the Major League level. A heady baseball player, he picks his spots to swipe a bag or take the extra base on the base paths. He is currently more of a gap hitter at the plate with some power potential in his future, and he typically makes good contact to produce line drives. Built like a catcher, Federowicz is strong behind the plate while maintaining quickness and good reactions.

Developmental Needs: Federowicz handles balls in the dirt well, but needs a little more refinement in this area to keep the tough pitches in front of him and control the ones that bounce off of him. At the plate, he’s going to have to adjust more to wooden bats and quicken his path to the ball to produce more solid contact. Federowicz got jammed or was behind the ball a lot during his time at Lowell last season, and he will need to work on picking the pitches out that he can drive into the gaps. With more exposure to professional pitching, these are things that should improve as he becomes more and more comfortable. How much power he will ultimately show is not really known, but developing into a hitter who drives the ball around the field should comprise the bulk of his work at the plate.

2009 Outlook: With his defensive game ahead of his offensive game, a lot of the developmental improvement for Federowicz in 2009 rests at the plate. It’s unknown at the moment what type of hitter he will become given his limited sampling in 2008, but with his defensive tools a strong burst of offensive development should push him through to upper levels more quickly. Where he may not be a guy who drives the ball out of the ball park with great frequency in 2009, some flashes of gap power and line drive ability should work their way into the picture as he improves his patience at the plate. Continued refinement of his handling of the pitching staff, especially his glove work, is also something to take watch of in 2009. Pulling the ball with consistent hard contact will be a sign of positive development in Federowicz’s offensive game, while managing the finer points of being a receiver will round his overall defensive game into form.