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.”
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.