Buchholz Polishing His Fastball

I just wrote about Joba Chamberlain, which now means I’m required by law–I think it’s under Section IV of the Joba Rules–to write about Clay Buchholz. Buchholz has two wipeout secondary pitches, a curve and changeup that are both 70s on the 20-80 scouting scale. The next step for Buchholz will be to improve the command of his fastball, which grades out as a plus pitch.

"The top developmental goal for Clay is the continued utility of his fastball: Shaping it different ways, throwing it to both sides of the plate and trusting it more," said Boston general manager Theo Epstein. "There’s really no doubt about the quality of this guy’s secondary stuff — curveball, changeup and a slider which he doesn’t throw as often as the other two — which are all, in my mind, swing-and-miss pitches.

"Once he really figures out how to use the fastball with maximum effectiveness, he’s got a pretty high ceiling."

Baseball America subscribers can click here for more BA staff opinions on how Buchholz and Chamberlain stack up.