Walker Buehler
(Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

2021 MLB Players To Look Out For: Walker Buehler

The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best pitcher in the west. Spoiler alert, it’s not Clayton Kershaw. This gunslinger goes by the name Walker Buehler, hurling fastballs at alarming speeds with imposing movement. The man is definitely due for a lockdown breakout year, and who’s to say 2021 won’t be that for him.

In past years, Walker Buehler was very good. Nothing quite more than that, but an above-average starter who everyone knew had the utmost potential. He has great seasons under his belt including a 2019 campaign where he won 14 games, had a 3.26 Earned Run Average with 215 strikeouts. He earned a trip to the all-star game and finished ninth in Cy Young voting. Buehler seems to fly under the radar for the most part due to names like Kershaw, but at the end of 2021, everyone will know that name.

Surprisingly, Buehler has not lived up to his full potential despite very decent accolades so far. Think about this, he avoided arbitration signing a two-year, eight-million dollar extension with LA. Meanwhile, his teammate Trevor Bauer with his career 3.90 Earned Run Average is earning 102 million dollars in the next three years. Buehler has a career ERA of 3.15. Walker is a better pitcher than the Bauer, the top earner in all of baseball, and it isn’t even close.

Walker Buehler is over his jitters and awkward moments, so in my mind, there’s nowhere to go for him but up. The gunslinger’s fastball tops out at 99 miles per hour but he also possesses a destructive curve, slider, cutter, and a 97 mile per hour sinker. If he can control these pitches even more so than before, look to Buehler being the next Justin Verlander.

My projections on the year are that Kershaw will, unfortunately, get injured in the middle of summer as he always does. As there’s no way around this. Buehler will continue to be the ace of the staff, end the year with a sub- 2.50 ERA with 270 strikeouts and 17 wins. He’ll earn his first Cy Young Award. All Buehler has to do is to work for it, and the results will speak for themselves.

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