Walker Buehler
Walker Buehler
24-Year-Old PitcherSP
Los Angeles Dodgers
2018 Fantasy Outlook
The 2016 season ended with whispers and a five-inning sample that suggested Buehler could be in for a breakout 2017. He delivered on that promise, and then some. Buehler, who underwent Tommy John surgery after being selected with the No. 24 pick in the 2015 draft, returned at the end of 2016 throwing harder than ever, sitting in the mid-90s and touching 99 mph with his fastball -- a byproduct of the Dodgers’ weighted ball program. He maintained that velocity over his first full pro season while also showing off a plus-plus curveball and hard low-90s cutter/slider. That pitch mix was predictably deadly against minor-league hitters, catapulting Buehler to the majors for a September run as a reliever. Given Buehler’s velocity jump and injury history, he seems a bit riskier than other top pitching prospects, but his upside is undeniable. The Dodgers will likely allow him to throw around 135 innings this season, presumably beginning the year at Triple-A. If he shows improved control, he could spend most of the summer pitching every fifth day in the big leagues. Read Past Outlooks
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Strikes out 12
PLos Angeles Dodgers
September 20, 2018
Buehler allowed two unearned runs on three hits and a walk while striking out 12 over six innings in a no-decision Wednesday against the Rockies.
ANALYSIS
Buehler allowed a pair of unearned runs to come around in the first inning after two hits, a walk and an error but he settled down from that point to toss a gem the rest of the way. The 12 punchouts were easily a personal best -- topping the nine he threw last time out -- but the Dodgers didn't take the lead until he'd already departed, so he had to settle for a no-decision. The 24-year-old boasts an impressive 2.74 ERA and 10.3 K/9 heading into Tuesday's start at Arizona, which could serve as his final start of the regular season.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-14%
BAA vs LHP
2018
 
 
-8%
BAA vs LHP
2017
 
 
-53%
BAA vs LHP
2016
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .193 242 75 18 43 8 0 6
Since 2016vs Right .224 272 68 21 55 9 0 8
2018vs Left .193 223 68 15 40 8 0 6
2018vs Right .209 247 63 16 47 8 0 6
2017vs Left .188 19 7 3 3 0 0 0
2017vs Right .400 25 5 5 8 1 0 2
2016vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-26%
ERA at Home
2018
 
 
-34%
ERA at Home
2017
 
 
-44%
ERA on Road
2016
No Stats
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2016Home 2.76 0.95 65.1 3 3 0 10.1 2.1 1.0
Since 2016Away 3.73 1.20 62.2 5 2 0 10.1 3.4 1.0
2018Home 2.32 0.87 62.0 3 3 0 10.0 1.7 0.9
2018Away 3.49 1.13 56.2 4 2 0 9.8 3.0 1.0
2017Home 10.80 2.40 3.1 0 0 0 10.8 8.1 2.7
2017Away 6.00 1.83 6.0 1 0 0 12.0 7.5 1.5
2016Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Stat Review
How does Walker Buehler compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
K/BB
4.47
 
K/9
10.3
 
BB/9
2.3
 
HR/9
0.9
 
Fastball
96.2 mph
 
ERA
2.74
 
WHIP
0.98
 
BABIP
.272
 
GB/FB
1.82
 
Strand %
76.4%
 
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
The Dodgers took a calculated gamble when they selected Buehler with the 24th overall pick in the 2015 draft. Once considered a likely top-10 pick, a pre-draft elbow issue caused him to fall, and he ended up needing Tommy John surgery that August. Buehler returned to the mound late last season, and while he only logged five innings of game action, the early returns suggest the Dodgers may have hit big on their roll of the dice. He touched 99 mph with his fastball in instructs after sitting in the mid-90s during brief appearances in the Arizona and Midwest leagues. It is hard to expect him to maintain that velocity over lengthier outings in the coming years, but even if he settles in at 93-95 mph with his fastball, that makes for a plus offering. He also features a potentially plus curveball and a hard slider/cutter that could be a third plus pitch. An average changeup could round out the repertoire, and at that point Buehler would look the part of a No. 2 starter.
The team's top draft pick in the 2015 amateur draft (24th overall), Buehler dropped a bit down teams' boards due to an elbow injury last spring, and the injury ultimately led to Tommy John surgery this past August. When healthy, the 6-foot-2 Buehler features a mid-90s fastball, slider, curve, and changeup with solid command and the ability to miss bats. Buehler's last 14 starts for Vanderbilt resulted in an 81:25 K:BB over 78.2 innings. He seems likely to miss most, if not all of the 2016 season recuperating, but it is possible he could join a full-season affiliate late in the year, or he could pitch in the Arizona Fall League. Once healthy, he has the ability to move quickly as a college draftee and settle in as a No. 3 big league starter. He's won a College World Series and a Cape Cod Championship, a pedigree that the Dodgers certainly hope carries over.
More Fantasy News
Dominates over eight innings
PLos Angeles Dodgers
September 14, 2018
Buehler (7-5) earned the victory over the Cardinals on Friday after tossing eight scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and two walks while striking out nine.
ANALYSIS
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Surrenders four earned
PLos Angeles Dodgers
September 8, 2018
Buehler (6-5) allowed four earned runs on six hits and one walk while striking out seven across six innings to take the loss Saturday against the Rockies.
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Set to make next start
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Foot
September 3, 2018
Buehler (foot) said he expects to make his next start on schedule, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
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Sent for precautionary X-rays
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Foot
September 2, 2018
Buehler will have X-rays on his left foot following Sunday's game against the Diamondbacks, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Allows two runs in short outing
PLos Angeles Dodgers
August 28, 2018
Buehler allowed two runs on four hits and two walks across four innings Tuesday in a no-decision Tuesday against the Rangers. He struck out four.
ANALYSIS
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