Walker Anthony Buehler (born July 28, 1994) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was selected by the Dodgers with the 24th overall selection in the 2015 MLB draft out of Vanderbilt University.
Buehler attended Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 14th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign and attended Vanderbilt University. As a freshman in 2013, he appeared in 16 games making nine starts. He had a 4–3 record with a 3.14 earned run average (ERA) and 57 strikeouts. As a sophomore, he went 12–2 with a 2.64 ERA and 111 strikeouts and was a member of the team's 2014 College World Series championship team, starting the first game.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Buehler was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers with the 24th overall pick in the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft and signed on July 17, 2015, for a $1.78 million bonus. Soon after his signing, it was revealed that he would require Tommy John surgery and would therefore be sidelined for a year and a half with recovery. He finally made his professional baseball debut on August 23, 2016 for the Arizona League Dodgers, striking out three and retiring all six batters he faced. He was then promoted to the Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League on August 28. He appeared in two games for the Loons, making one start, and did not allow a run or a hit in the three innings he pitched.
Buehler began the 2017 season with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League and allowed only three runs in 16 1⁄3 innings over five starts before he was promoted to the Double-A Tulsa Drillers of the Texas League on May 2. While with the Drillers, he made 11 starts with a 3.49 ERA and was selected to appear in the mid-season Texas League all-star game He was promoted to the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers at mid-season where he made three starts before transitioning to the bullpen in preparation for a potential September major league callup. He had a 4.63 ERA in 23 1⁄3 innings for Oklahoma City. At the end of the season, he was selected as the Dodgers minor league pitcher of the year.
The Dodgers added him to the major league roster for the first time on September 6, 2017 and he made his debut that night with two scorless innings of relief against the Colorado Rockies. His first MLB strikeout was against Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies.