Diamondbacks @ Dodgers June 8, 2015: Welcome Walker Buehler

Everyone welcome the newest (well, as soon as he signs) Dodger prospect RHP Walker Buehler from Vanderbilt University to the organization.

D’Backs
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
LF
Inciarte
CF
Pederson
CF
Pollock
3B
Turner
1B
Goldschmidt
1B
Gonzalez
RF
Tomas
2B
Kendrick
3B
Lamb
C
Grandal
2B
Owings
LF
Guerrero
C
Castillo
RF
Ethier
SS
Ahmed
SS
Rollins
P
De La Rosa (R)
P
Bolsinger (R)

Buehler is a slight pitcher from the right side. He stands 6’2 (allegedly) and a whopping 170 pounds. His frame suggests that he might not be cut out for the rotation long-term. He does have a fastball that sits in the low-90s and touches 96 MPH. It’s a legitimate future 60 pitch if he can command it. It could definitely play up out of the bullpen. His curveball is a hammer in the 78-81 range. It has 11-5 shape and acts like a slider at time. He also has a low-80s changeup that features solid fade and could be a solid-average pitch if he develops.

His delivery is a little more high-effort than is preferred for a pitcher. That, coupled with his frame give some evaluators pause. He was drafted by the Pirates in the fourth round of the 2012 draft and reportedly turned down at least a 6-figure bonus to attend the baseball factory known as Vanderbilt.

This is a solid pick. It isn’t the pick I would have made, but it isn’t a bad pick — this isn’t Chris Reed we’re talking about. He has the floor of a late-inning reliever with two potentially plus-pitches (think Chris Withrow). At absolute best, he’s a No. 2 starter. Realistically, he’s a No. 3 or 4 starter if he reaches his potential. He should sign for around slot value.

I’ll have more on Buehler in another post.

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Yasiel Puig is out of the lineup after playing four consecutive games. This is probably good, seeing as he’s coming off a hamstring injury and the last thing the Dodgers need is for him to over-exert himself now. And Howie Kendrick is officially back.

Mike Bolsinger looks to improve on his last outing when he wasn’t as sharp against the Cardinals. He faces his former squad tonight.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.