WALKER Anthony BUEHLER
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   DODGERS
Height: 6' 2" Bats:   R
Weight: 185 Throws:   R
DOB: 7/28/1994 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 21  
Birth City: Lexington, KY
Draft: Dodgers #1 - 2015 - Out of Vanderbilt Univ. (TN)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2015 DL DL - Tommy John                            
2016 DL DL - Tommy John                            
2016 MWL GREAT LAKES   2 3 0 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2016 AZL AZL-Dodgers   1 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0   0.00
2017 PCL OKLAHOMA CITY   12 23.1 19 34 11 3 0 0 1 1 1   4.63
2017 TL TULSA   11 49 40 64 15 11 0 0 0 2 2   3.49
2017 CAL RANCHO CUCAMONGA   5 16.1 8 27 5 5 0 0 0 0 0   1.10
2017 NL DODGERS   8 9.1 11 12 8 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.306 7.71
2018 CAL RANCHO CUCAMONGA   1 3 2 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 0   3.00
2018 PCL OKLAHOMA CITY   3 13 10 16 4 3 0 0 0 1 0   2.08
2018 NL DODGERS   24 137.1 95 151 37 23 0 0 0 8 5 0.193 2.62
2019 NL DODGERS $570.00 18 110 93 120 17 18 1 0 0 8 1 0.223 3.44
Personal
  • Buehler graduated from Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky with a commitment to Vanderbilt. He was a stand-up student/athlete. He has a (weighted) GPA of 4.3 and scored a 30 on the ACT.
  • In 2014, after Walker played a crucial role in Vanderbilt’s run to the 2014 national championship, Buehler earned the Cape League postseason co-MVP honors by going 2-0, 0.00 ERA, with 13 strikeouts in 15 innings in the playoffs.

  • June 2015: Buehler was the Dodgers 1st round pick, out of Vanderbilt, the 24th player chosen overall. He received a $1.78 million bonus, signing with scout Marty Lamb.

  • In 2016, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Buehler as the 11th-best prospect in the Dodgers organization. He missed 2017 following Tommy John surgery. They had Walker as the Dodgers #1 prospect in the spring of 2018.

  • August 23, 2017: The Dodgers named Buehler their Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

  • Walker pitched two scoreless innings in his fist MLB appearance, on 26 pitches (18 for strikes) and recorded two strikeouts, his first coming against the NL's top hitter, Charlie Blackmon, freezing him with a slider.

    As for his first strikeout ball, Buehler said the ball will go to his father.

    "My dad lived away from me most of my life," Buehler said. "As I've grown older I've become more like him. He's a big memorabilia guy. He'll get that one."  (Thornton - mlb.com - 9/7/17)

  • July 2019: Walker represented the Dodgers at the All-Star Game.
Pitching
  • Buehler has a 94-100 mph FASTBALL that quickly jumps on the hitter and gets him a lot of groundballs and a great 80 grade on the 20-80 scouting scale. Walker has a devastating 81-84 mph power nose-to-toes/12-to-6 CURVEBALL with a 60 grade and hard downer 12-to-6 action. He has a plus an 90-93 mph SLIDER that also grades 60 with late tilt that he can throw for a strike or bury as a chase pitch. He also has a 45 grade CHANGEUP with good fading action that he has feel for, and is effective retiring lefty hitters. He has 55 grade control.

    Walker's stuff is as good as virtually anyone in the minors.

    “It’s in the top group of all the arms I’ve seen,” one scout said during the 2017 season. “He’s got No. 1-type starter stuff. He’s got four pitches that all have a chance to be average or better. Everything was electric. Everything was a swing-and-miss pitch.”

    Buehler sits in the high 90s in most of his starts, but what is equally notable is how well he controls his pitches. He has present average control, according to the scout, with the chance to be a little better than that eventually.

    “His arm is fast, easy and loose,” the scout said. “He’s a future No. 1.”

  • 2018 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 41.6% of the time; Sinker 16.8%; Change 3.6%; Slider 10.6%; Curve 14.1%; and Cutter 13.3% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 96.9 mph, Sinker 96.6, Change 90.7, Slider 86.6, Curve 80.9, and Cutter 92.3 mph.

  • Walker has a smooth delivery, a clean arm action, and is a polished righthander. It is a loose, athletic delivery that enables Buehler to pound the strike zone.

  • Buehler just naturally throws strikes, pounding the zone. He gets a 55 grade for his a bit-above-average control.

  • Buehler is at least a #2 starter, if the not the ace of a staff.

  • May 4, 2018: The pitching legacy of the Dodgers stretches for the better part of a century, and Walker Buehler took his rightful place in it after just his third Major League start.

    The rookie did the heavy lifting in the first combined no-hitter in Dodgers history. His six electric innings in the rain were followed by one each from Tony Cingrani, Yimi Garcia, and Adam Liberatore in a 4-0 win over the Padres in the opener of the Mexico Series.

    It was the 23rd no-hitter in Dodgers history, but the first combined. The last Dodgers no-no was thrown by Clayton Kershaw on June 18, 2014, against Colorado.

    Fittingly, it was the greatest Mexican Dodger ever, Fernando Valenzuela, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Valenzuela threw his no-hitter for the Dodgers in 1990 against the Cardinals. (Ken Gurnick- MLB.com)

  • Oct 26, 2018: Buehler etched his name in the record books with one of the most impressive performances in franchise history in Game 3 of the World Series. His first pitch was clocked at 97.9 mph. Seven innings later, Buehler's 108th and final pitch hit 98.2 mph. In between, Buehler dominated the Red Sox, and his teammates finally put Boston away with a 3-2 victory in 18 innings to cut the Sox's series lead to two games to one.

    "There have been a few games when I had similar feelings, but obviously, this one tops the list," Buehler said.

    Buehler's 26 pitches in the first were the most thrown in a 1-2-3 inning in postseason history. He also became the youngest Dodgers pitcher to throw six or more scoreless innings in a World Series game since Johnny Podres did it in 1955. In addition, Buehler joins Roger Clemens (Game 2, 2000) and Don Larsen (Game 5, 1956) as the only pitchers to throw seven or more scoreless innings while allowing two hits or fewer without any walks in a World Series game.

    "I just got into some good counts and made pitches when I needed to," Buehler said. "It's how we have been all year. Obviously, being down 2-0, and people [were] saying our backs are against the wall, but we've been here and done that before." Overall, the hard-throwing rookie allowed only two hits and struck out seven in seven scoreless innings, reaching a career-high pitch count. Buehler was replaced by Kenley Jansen in the eighth with his team up, 1-0.

    Buehler, who also threw 100 pitches against the Brewers in Game 3 of the NLCS, joins Justin Verlander, who fired 102 pitches in Game 1 of the ALDS, and Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed 104 pitches in Game 1 of the NLDS, on the short list of starters to throw 100 pitches or more during this postseason.

    "We needed his best effort, and we needed him to go deeper than their starter, log some innings," manager Dave Roberts said. "And some guys run from it. Some guys can't answer the bell. But this guy, he's got an overt confidence, a quiet confidence, a little combo. He's got tremendous stuff, and he lives for moments like this." (J Sanchez - MLB.com - Oct 27, 2018)

    Buehler entered last season with as much hype as any prospect arm, and he managed to exceed it while becoming the Dodgers’ 1-A ace. Command, aggression and premium heat helped Buehler stifle opposing offenses down to a microscopic—and downright historic—number of walks and hits per inning.

    Live-ball era rookie starters with a sub-1.00 WHIP (Min. 120 IP): 1) Dick Hughes (1967): 0.95, 2) Buehler (2018): 0.96, 3) Jose Fernandez (2013): 0.98.

    Hughes helped the Cardinals win the 1967 World Series, then tore his rotator cuff and was done as a Major Leaguer the following season. The late Fernandez underwent Tommy John surgery after his incredible NL Rookie of the Year campaign.

  • June 21, 2019: Walker Buehler struck out 16 batters which was the most by a Dodger since 1996.


  • As of the start of the 2019 season, Walker had a career record of 8-5 with a 3.09 ERA, having allowed 105 hits and 14 home runs in 140 innings.
Career Injury Report
  • Spring 2015: Elbow soreness delayed Buehler's start to his junior season at Vanderbilt, but he pitched well when he rejoined the Commodores rotation, and helped him to the College World Series finals.

  • August 5, 2015: Buehler underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery and will be out 12 to 18 months, the Dodgers announced.

    The rehab is daunting, even before he ever steps on a mound. It entails day after day, month after month of tedious physical therapy and rehab activities with no prospect of actual competition until, possibly, spring of 2017. But Buehler said he has resigned himself to the long process.

    “I don’t think you have any choice but to be ready for it,” he said. “You do the rehab to the best of your abilities and hope it all works out. I’m good with it.

    “It’s tough because you get drafted and you want to get momentum going and kind of jump out of the chute, but you’re down for a year . . . I think it’s more of mental challenge than it is physical.”

    The year off from pitching allowed the slender, 6-foot-2 Buehler to focus on conditioning and adding strength, among other things.

    “I’m 25 pounds heavier than I was when I had the surgery. And a year and change older and more mature from the surgery, I feel like,” he said. “I think the surgery simplifies things for you a lot in terms of not being so worried about every result or every pitch being good or bad. It’s just ‘Oh I feel good again.’”

  • April–August 28, 2016: Walker was on the DL after spending most of the season rehabbing from his TJ surgery.

  • June 4-15, 2017: Buehler was on the DL.

  • June 12-July 13, 2018: Walker was on the DL with right rib microfracture.

  • March 13, 2019: Buehler’s throwing session was overshadowed by the revelation that he came to Spring Training with an arm that “didn’t feel right,” making the likelihood that he'd be ready to start Opening Day “a little far-fetched.”

    “My arm didn’t feel like it was moving the way I wanted it to,” said Buehler. “It’s not a pain thing, really, more like something doesn’t move perfectly. And the way I kind of work, I want everything to work correctly.”

    Buehler and the club had been insisting he was being “slow-played” this spring because of last year’s spike in innings, but the story changed, first with manager Dave Roberts conceding the injury before Buehler threw two innings of batting practice, then Buehler confirming it. 

    “Hangover stuff from last year,” said Buehler, who added that he had discomfort from the start of his offseason throwing program. “Kind of comes and goes. I wasn’t feeling good often enough. Nothing scary, nothing alarming. Just wasn’t right."

     

  • March 18, 2019: Buehler has been ruled out as the Opening Day starter due to shoulder soreness.