March 22, 2020 at 6:00 pm
Today, I’ll go over who I believe has been the Dodger’s 2nd best prospect this decade.
2. Walker F’n Buehler; Walker Buehler was selected by the Dodgers with the 24th pick in the 2015 draft. Buehler was considered a top 10 pick in the draft but because of the Tommy John Concerns he slid a bit and the Dodgers just couldn’t pass on Buehler’s upside and mindset. After he was signed it was revealed that he would indeed need Tommy John Surgery, thus sidelining him until August of the next year. In Buehler, the Dodgers saw a confident, tough-minded kid who threw hard and had a good curveball and slider. His fastball sits consistently in the high 90’s and with the backspin it has it gets the ball to rise, the hitters either can’t react fast enough and pop it up or swing and miss. His Fastball has been labeled elite while his hard curveball always tremendous bite giving it an almost spike curveball feel. At the time his slider was still a pitch he was getting a feel for but showed plus potential. He made his debut in August of 2016 going 2 innings and striking out 3 while retiring all 6 batters. He was moved to the Great Lakes Loons where he made 1 start going 3 innings giving up no runs and no hits.
In 2017 Buehler began the season with the Rancho Quakes, where have had given up 3 runs in 5 starts totaling 16 innings. He was fast-tracked to Double-A Tulsa in May, He made 11 starts striking out 64 in 49 innings with an ERA of 3.64. He was selected to appear in the Texas League All-Star game. Buehler was again fast-tracked being called up to Triple-A Oklahoma City. He only made 3 starts before transitioning to the Bullpen in preparation for a spot on the Dodgers playoff roster in the Pen. He struggled a bit with his command walking 11 in 19 innings. However, he did showcase his potential with the strikeouts as well as limiting home runs. He was called up in September where he appeared exclusively out of the bullpen he allowed 8 runs in 9 innings to finish out the season. He was named Dodgers Minor League Pitcher of the Year. After this one long season that started in Single-A and got all the way to the Majors, Buehler was the 13th best prospect in baseball and showed enough to where scouts and the Dodgers saw him as a frontline starter at worst and an Ace at best.
In 2018 Buehler had a 2.62 ERA with the Dodgers with 151 strikeouts in 137 innings. He Pitched his best in big games and showed he’s the Dodgers Ace of the Future, even prompting Kershaw to say Buehler had better stuff than Kershaw ever had. High praise coming from a future Hall-of-Famer.
So, Walker comes in at #2. Can anyone guess who’s number 1?
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