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Decade later, Price remembers being top pick

Southpaw went from prospect to AL Cy Young Award winner
MLB.com @ladsonbill24

NEW YORK -- It's Wednesday morning. Red Sox left-hander David Price receives a text from his agent, Bo McKinnis. It was a photo of Price on the day he was selected by the Rays 10 years ago as the first overall pick in the 2007 Draft.

When he saw the text, Price, 31, couldn't believe a decade had passed.

NEW YORK -- It's Wednesday morning. Red Sox left-hander David Price receives a text from his agent, Bo McKinnis. It was a photo of Price on the day he was selected by the Rays 10 years ago as the first overall pick in the 2007 Draft.

When he saw the text, Price, 31, couldn't believe a decade had passed.

"It feels like it was yesterday when it happened," Price told the podcast, "Newsmakers."

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Price was a stud at Vanderbilt University. During his final year, he won 11 games, posted a 2.63 ERA and struck out 194 batters in 133 1/3 innings with a 0.95 WHIP.

According to Price, then-Rays scouting director R.J. Harrison informed Price a couple of days before the Draft that he was going to be the first pick. To this day, Price sounds like a kid in a candy store when talking about being selected.

"That was a very cool, satisfying [moment]. I don't feel like I could put words to really describe it," Price said. "I had everything come to fruition, all the hard work I had been through up to that point. To be rewarded for that, it felt good."

Price said attending Vanderbilt was the best decision he ever made. He learned how to balance school work and baseball. The university helped him grow up quite a bit.

"I felt I was placed in the right setting in the right time," Price said. "I always had the right people around me. I have to give a lot of those guys a lot of the credit because they helped mold me [into] who I am today."

Price has lived up to being a first overall pick. In 10 big leagues seasons, Price has won 122 games with a 3.24 ERA. He helped the Rays reached the 2008 World Series -- the year after he was drafted -- and was an American League Cy Young Award winner in '12. Three teams later, he is one of the highest-paid pitchers in the Majors after signing a seven-year, $217 million deal with the Red Sox before the '16 season.

After missing almost two months of this season because of an elbow injury, Price is healthy and ready to help the Red Sox go to the World Series.

"We are starting to play a lot better baseball. I still don't think we've played our best baseball by any means," Price said. "We haven't pitched as well as we can pitch. We haven't swung the bats as a whole. We haven't played our best defense. I think we can improve on everything."

Price has advice for players who are taken as the first overall pick in the Draft, with the 2017 version starting Monday: Enjoy the moment.

"It's something the player goes through one time if he decides to sign that dotted line," Price said. "You have to be confident in yourself. … It's a very cool thing to go through. To be able to hear your name called out, to have an organization take that chance on you, it's very rewarding and a cool feeling. It's got to be something that you want."

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002 and does a podcast, Newsmakers. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Boston Red Sox, David Price