The Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Walker Buehler from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Buehler will wear uniform No. 64.
The 23-year-old righty will make his first career appearance on a major league roster in his second professional season after being selected in the first round of the 2015 draft out of Vanderbilt University. Buehler, who is rated by MLB.com as the Dodgers’ No. 1 prospect and is currently rated by Baseball America as the 17th best overall prospect in baseball, went 3-3 with a 3.35 ERA over 88-2/3 innings and collected one save in a combined 28 games with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City this season. He also held hitters to a combined .208 average, while striking out 125 batters against just 31 walks.
Buehler, recently named the 2017 Dodgers Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year, started his campaign dominating the California League, posting a 1.10 ERA over five starts, before his promotion to Tulsa on May 10. Buehler then made 11 starts for the Drillers, going 2-2 with a 3.49 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP and a .225 opponent’s batting average over an even 49 innings. He was named Texas League Pitcher of the Week after his start on June 30, in which he fired 5-1/3 scoreless innings while allowing just two hits and striking out seven against only one walk.
He was promoted to Oklahoma City on July 16 and made three starts—including his first Triple-A victory on July 31—before being moved to a relief role in August. Since moving to the bullpen, Buehler has recorded one save and has struck out 19 batters against just five walks in 13-1/3 innings of relief. Overall, he has limited the opposition to a .216 average during his time at OKC.
As far as his pitching repertoire goes, Buehler can crank up his four-seam to a hefty 98 MPH, miss bats with his plus slider and curve, and fool the best of hitters with a quality changeup.
To create room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated right-handed pitcher Fabio Castillo for assignment.
The Dodgers’ expanded roster count currently stands at 38 players.
(Lauren Douglas provided some information furnished in this report)