Joba Chamberlain vs. David Price: The Great Debates, Part 1

matt eliasContributor IJanuary 21, 2009

Which Can Lay Claim to Being Baseball's Best Young Hurler?

The best part about baseball is comparing different players and arguing who is better and who you would rather have on your team. From the debates of Mickey Mantle vs. Willie Mays, to Joe Dimaggio vs. Ted Williams, baseball fans have a long love affair with such debates. Well, this is the first in my own series of debates on that matter.

Up first are two of the top young pitchers in the AL East: The New York Yankees' Joba Chamberlain, and the Tampa Bay Rays' David Price.

Both pitchers have extreme amounts of talent, and have burst onto the scene with great dominance. Both are envisioned to be starters but have had much success coming out of the bullpen. Both spent very little time in the minors following selections in the first round of the draft, and both had very good college careers. Their success is considered crucial if their teams are to be successful in 2009 and beyond.

As a Yankees fan, I personally love Chamberlain—even with this recent legal issues—but this is a no-brainer. Joba has been great and finished with one of the top ERAs in baseball, even though he split time between the bullpen and the rotation. His July start in Fenway Park against Josh Beckett was a glimpse of the greatness he could attain.
However, the answer isn't Chamberlain. You have to take David Price for one reason: he is a lefty. Lefties are so rare, especially ones who have stuff as nasty as Price, and who have such poise at such a young age. Now, Price has not been as lights-out as Chamberlain was in their respective first seasons, but look at Price's rise through the farm system. He lost one game all year, and went through four levels of the minor leagues as quickly and as dominatly as anyone in history. His performance in Game 7 of the ALCS will always be remembered in baseball history. It also helps Price that the Rays are not thinking of him as a reliever, and he knows that he will be a starter come 2009.

Both of these guys look like they have very bright futures. This is, of course, barring any injuries, which are always a concern and something that Chamberlain has already dealt with.

What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments section.