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Pack Hurler Jake Buchanan Leading Cape Cod League In ERA

July 21, 2009
If you’re facing Jake Buchanan on a Cape Cod squad opposing his Cotuit Kettleers, there’s a good chance you’re not getting on base. The prospect of scoring is even worse.

Buchanan is currently leading the CCL with a downright-nasty ERA of 0.50 with a WHIP (walks+hits/innings pitched) of just 0.88. He’s averaging fewer than one man allowed on per inning, which is just remarkable.

He really did a number on the Hyannis Mets last night, pitching a three-hit shutout.

His performance caught the eyes of quite a few interested parties, including ESPN’s Buster Olney. Olney, in one of his recent ESPN Insider pieces, referenced Buchanan’s solid play and quoted Greg Schimmel’s breakdown on Buchanan from last night:

I went to Hyannis on Monday night to watch Hyannis play Cotuit. An e-mailer, a fellow scout and the league’s ERA leaderboard persuaded me to catch right-handed starter Jake Buchanan from North Carolina State pitch for Cotuit, and sure enough he pitched a complete-game, three-hit shutout and struck out 10. Cotuit won 3-0.

Buchanan, whose ERA was 0.67 before he pitched a shutout Monday, didn’t have tremendous stuff, but he had a good feel for four solid pitches and he wasn’t afraid to throw any of them in any count. In the middle innings of his start, one American League scout said “This guy doesn’t ever throw the same pitch twice in a row.” Hyannis’ hitters were off-balance the entire game, and only four balls left the infield. Buchanan is average height with a stocky build at 6’0″ 205. He short-arms his pitches a little but throws easy and has good balance. Buchanan’s fastball sat in the 88-90 mph range but hitters always seemed unsure of when it was coming and therefore it was effectively faster than its actual speed. Buchanan’s best pitch was probably his tumbling 74-77 mph curveball with very good, sharp break. He also threw a 76-80 mph slider with good run and a good 76-79 mph changeup with nice downward movement. None of Buchanan’s pitches, other than maybe his curveball, was sensational on its own but his full repertoire was very effective. He could certainly be drafted in the first few rounds next June.

Let’s hope Jake can continue on the path he’s on, as he’s certainly starting to turn a few heads.

(Many thanks to Chad B. for pointing me to this great story)

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