In 2012, Price went 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA (211-IP, 60-ER) and 205 strikeouts in 31 starts. He led the AL in ERA and wins (tied with Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), becoming the first in Rays history to lead the league in either category. He also held opponents to a .318 slugging percentage, lowest in the AL, and made 23 starts of seven innings or more, most in the majors.
Against AL East opponents last season, Price made a league-high 16 starts and went 10-2 with a 2.51 ERA. He is the first pitcher from the AL East to win the award since Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2003.
Price, who was selected No. 1 overall by the Rays in 2007 June Draft, becomes the first No. 1 selection ever to win the Cy Young Award. The two-time All-Star (2010, 2012) was also chosen as the AL Outstanding Pitcher in the Players’ Choice Awards last week.
Only eight of the 46 other AL Cy Young Award winners have matched Price’s totals in wins, ERA and strikeouts: Justin Verlander (2011), Pedro Martinez (1999), Roger Clemens (1986, 1987), Ron Guidry (1978), Gaylord Perry (1972), Vida Blue (1971) and Denny McLain (1968).
In major league history, only six other left-handed pitchers Price’s age or younger (27) have matched his combination of wins, strikeouts and ERA at season’s end—and only one other in the last 40 years: Clayton Kershaw (2011), Vida Blue (1971), Herb Score (1956), Hal Newhouser (1945-46), Rube Marquard (1911) and Rube Waddell (1902-03).
Since joining the Rays rotation on May 29, 2009, Price’s 61 wins are fourth most in the majors behind Verlander (73), CC Sabathia (70) and Jered Weaver (63). Among all active pitchers with at least 100 starts, his career .663 winning percentage (61-31) ranks second to only Halladay (.666, 199-100).
Earlier this year, Price was named the Rays 2012 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes a player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement. In 2008, Price created Project One Four, a foundation to support programs and organizations that provide opportunities for youth to learn life skills in a safe and supportive environment. Project One Four supports programs and charities in the local Tampa Bay area as well as in his hometown of Nashville, Tenn. For more information on Project One Four please visit project14.org.