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Astros Draftee Profile: Jake Buchanan, RHP, North Carolina State, Eighth Round

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Summary

The Astros probably drafted Buchanan more on his performance in the Cape Cod League than anything he's done at North Carolina State. Last summer, the 6-foot, 221 pound righthander went 3-1 with a 0.84 ERA on the Cape and only six walks in 43 innings. He complemented that with 38 strikeouts.

Buchanan threw 105 innings at NC State this season over 17 starts. He struck out 96 while walking 27 and gave up 112 hits. He also threw one complete game, so his pitch counts were probably up there. Another interesting note? In his senior year of high school, Buchanan had an 0.37 ERA and struck out 147 in 15 games. That's pretty dominant.

His raw stuff isn't that great. He has an average fastball that seldom crosses 90 MPH but has two above-average breaking pitches in his curve and his change. His command is also great, which is one of the reasons his ERA and strikeout numbers have been so good despite average stuff.

Floor

Can Brian Moehler be both a floor and a ceiling? Most of the scouts have him as a swing-man in the rotation, but that's due to his velocity problems. He's shown he can throw enough innings to be a back-end starter, but he may not be able to miss enough bats.

Ceiling

Counter-intuitively, his ceiling is probably as a late-inning reliever. Most of the guys the Astros have taken have moved the other way, with their floors as relievers. A little tweaking on his fastball and Buchanan could be a good back end guy and would give the Astros some nice depth for the bullpen.

Will the Astros Sign Him?

Shouldn't be any problems here. He is a junior, so he can go back to school. I'm not sure how much that will help him, though and can probably do more damage than good.