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Scouting Report: Clay Buchholz
May 27, 2007
Clay Buchholz was drafted in the supplemental round of the 2005 baseball draft by the Boston Red Sox. His draft stock slipped somewhat due to some trouble with the law, but things couldn't have worked out better so far for the Sox or Buchholz. After two good seasons in the minors, Buchholz is making a name for himself in Double-A, Portland. After dueling Roger Clemens last week, Moundtalk takes a look at the young Red Sox pitcher.
Starting in Rookie Ball, the Angelina CC product threw over 40 innings in the New York-Penn League at Lowell in 2005. He showed exactly what the Sox thought they were getting: a good pitcher who needed some refinement. He struck out more than one per inning but struggled somewhat with control.
After what was deemed a successful 2005 campaign, the Sox promoted Buchholz to Low-A, Greenville to start 2006. He threw just over 100 innings there with good success before being promoted to High-A, Wilmington for three starts. At both levels he maintained a higher than one strikeout per inning ratio and was very stingy about allowing base runners.
In a marginally surprising move, the Sox started Buchholz off in Double-A, Portland for 2007. He has risen to the occasion, to say the least. In 45 2/3 innings pitched, the six-foot-three righty has allowed just 39 base runners. He's struck out 61 and shown an advanced ability to command his secondary pitches and progress in the effectiveness of his pitches.
Buchholz wields four pitches regularly. He throws everything hard and with sharp bite. His strength is in his makeup. He rarely gets rattled and doesn't try to overthrow when he gets in trouble.
His fastball is his main pitch which he works off of. As most young pitchers do, he tends to rely on his fastball a bit too much. This is something that has begun to change since moving up to Double-A. His fastball sits in the low-90s but as the game goes on, he is often able to dial it up to the 95-97 range. Fastball has good movement but that aspect could be improved.
Buchholz throws a two varieties of changeups. He'll primarily throw a straight change that sits right around 80 mph. Occasionally he'll mix in a circle change. He gets good movement and disguises it well. If he's going to continue to succeed at higher levels, he'll need to improve his changeup.
His out pitch is a hard breaking curveball. From time to time he'll mix in a tighter curve with less break but can be very deadly when used correctly. His curveball is his best pitch and combined with his fastball, makes a very good combination of pitches to start from.
His last pitch that he'll throw regularly is a slider. He's not throwing it as much this year, from what I've seen, than he has in the past but is certainly throwing it more effectively. It still needs some work but could become a very solid fourth pitch for him.
With a hot start so far, Buchholz could be in line for a promotion to Triple-A at the All-Star Break. If Boston gets into trouble with their major league rotation, Buchholz could have an outside chance at getting a shot this season. If not, next year will be his rookie campaign and he should have plenty of success.
this kids gonna be a beast
Definitely sounds like someone to keep an eye on.
Wasn't he converted into a pitcher?
No idea, but that kid has a sick curve.
Not to my recollection. I believe he was drafted as a pitcher by the Sawx.
Yes. I saw his curve ball Sunday (I think or whatever the day Duke played JHU in the Lacrosse Championship). It was nasty.
He had been a shortstop in college I believe. But I think an injury pretty much ended that. I can't recall for sure though.
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