Dodgers: Minor League Award Update
By Sully Engels
The 2015 draft pick from Vanderbilt has been named the organization’s 2017 Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Buehler has rocketed through the Dodgers’ minor league system, starting in High-A and now working his way to the brink of a September call up from Oklahoma City.
Buehler is the No. 1 ranked prospect in the Dodgers’ system and the No. 13 on MLBPipeline.com’s Top 100 prospect list. His ascension to the top has been catalyzed by a mid-90s fastball and a plus curveball which he commands well, as he does all four of his pitches.
Over 83 innings in the minors, he had a 3.36 ERA over 24 appearances, 19 starts, and struck out 117 while hitters notched just a .209 average against him. In Triple-A, he’s pitched in eight games and has an ERA of 5.09, but that is a little high because of one bad start, Buehler’s Day Off if you will.
Over the last two weeks, he has moved away from his role as a starter and has begun to make relief appearances for OKC in what is surely preparation for a September tryout in the bullpen for the big league club.
In his last four outings in relief, he has posted a 2.84 ERA over six plus innings with nine strikeouts and a save. It’s going to be tough to beat out anyone for a spot this year, but this is the 2017 Dodgers we’re talking about, crazier things have already happened.