Prospect highlight: Clay Buchholz

The last big pitching call-up of the year appears to be on the horizon. Clay Buchholz of the Boston Red Sox is expected to start a game in Friday’s double header. He isn’t guaranteed to remain in the majors after that, but with a good start, he could supplant Jon Lester as Boston’s 5th starter. Let’s check out his minor league numbers.

2005 | R | 41.1 IP | 9.80 K/9 | 1.96 BB/9 | 5.00 K/BB | 51% GB
2006 | A- | 102.7 IP | 10.26 K/9 | 2.54 BB/9 | 4.04 K/BB | 46% GB
2007 | AA | 90.0 IP | 12.40 K/9 | 2.30 BB/9 | 5.39 K/BB | 46% GB
2007 | AAA | 30.1 IP | 14.24 K/9 | 2.37 BB/9 | 6.00 K/BB | 45% GB

There really isn’t anything not to like. He strikes out a ton of batters with pretty good control and gets more ground balls than fly balls. His K/9 shouldn’t be in double digits in the majors, but I think he’s got a really good shot to have one above 8.00. He’ll probably be able to keep his BB/9 under 3.50, leaving him a K/BB of at least 2.28. It will probably be closer to 3.00.

The only concern is his lack of Triple A innings. He didn’t even post a ton in Double A. In 120 innings between Double and Triple A this year, though, he did put up fantastic numbers. I wouldn’t be too worried.

Buchholz should contribute in K, ERA, and WHIP, and when you add in the Red Sox offense, he should contribute in wins as well. He should be picked up in all but shallow leagues in case he sticks in the majors. Jon Lester owners, on the other hand, should look to deal him while they can. They really shouldn’t have picked him up in the first place (except in very deep leagues), but there still might be time to correct this error.

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