School: Vanderbilt; Class: Junior
Position: RHP; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-2; Weight: 175
Previously Drafted: Pittsburgh Pirates, 12th round, 2012
Background: Finally healthy after dealing with some early season elbow issues, Buehler picked right up where he left off in his previous two seasons – missing about a bat per inning with solid or better control. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound right-hander out of Pitching U. has been a three-year mainstay in the Commodores’ rotation.
He finished his freshman campaign with a solid 57-to-25 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 63 innings of work (16 games, nine of which were starts). He would follow that up with a monster sophomore season, where he posted an improved strikeout-to-walk ratio, 111-to-31, in 102.1 innings while guiding Vanderbilt to their first ever national championship.
Buehler also made one appearance for Team USA last summer – 6.1 innings, three hits, three walks, one earned run – after earning shining in the Cape Cod league with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. It was the first time that Vanderbilt had four players on Team USA.
Projection: Physically speaking, he’s a bit thin and could stand to add to his 6-foot-2 frame. Production-wise, though, Buehler’s been incredibly consistent throughout his career, always showing a strong ability to limit free passes – he’s averaged just 2.72 walk per nine innings over his last two seasons – with an equally impressive talent to miss bats in one of college baseball’s better conferences.
And his early season elbow issues seem to be firmly in the past: he fanned a career high 13 hitters against Ole’ Miss in early April and followed that up with nine more punch outs against South Carolina two weeks later.
There are always going to be questions about his durability, and those notwithstanding, Buehler looks like a potentially fast-moving, back-of-the-rotation caliber arm
Ceiling: 2.0win player
Floor: 1.0-win player
Grade: Mid- to Late-First Round
Photo Courtesy of d1baseball.com via Twitter.