4.3 GPA, Blazing Fastball Lead to Vanderbilt Scholarship

Walker Buehler

• School: Henry Clay High
• Grade: 12th
• Sport: Baseball
• Academics: Walker has a 4.3 weighted GPA, scored 30 on his ACT and is a member of the National Honor Society.
• Parents: Karen & Tony

No wonder professional baseball scouts characterize Walker Buehler as having an advanced understanding of pitching – Walker is nothing if not a quick study.

A recent graduate of Henry Clay High, Walker, who turns 18 in July, earned a 4.3 weighted GPA in all advance classes.

He scored a 30 on the ACT, is a member of the National Honor Society, served on the student council for four years and for three years participated in an after-school leadership program.

Strong academics and a 94-mph fastball drew college baseball recruiters with scholarship offers – and radar guns – in hand to Henry Clay.

In his junior year, he signed with Vanderbilt.

“Vanderbilt just blew away all the other schools in terms of facilities, coaches and academics,” Walker said.

As one of the top high school pitching prospects in the country, Walker has been pursued by major league scouts. At every game he was on the mound, a small army of scouts charted all his pitches.

And Walker has quite a repertoire. Along with his blazing fastball, he throws a curve, slider and changeup.  And he knows what to do with those pitches.

“Not too many high school pitchers can throw a 2-and-0 changeup and know why to throw it and where,” he said.

That kind of analytical mind makes scouts drool.

The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted him in the 14th round of the June amateur draft, but Walker will enroll at Vanderbilt, where he plans to major in economics or political science.

“I think I have a feel for how to deal with people, so maybe I will go into politics,” he said.

In the meantime, high school batters are relieved that Walker’s prep career is over. A first-team All-City pick, Walker posted a 1.02 earned-run average this season, striking out 70 in 42 innings with only six walks.

As a junior, his ERA was 1.71 with 98 Ks in 66 innings, and he pitched a no-hitter at a spring break tournament in Florida.

A four-year starter with the Blue Devils, he fanned 242 batters, second most in school history.

(A prodigy at Eastern Little League, he set the single season strikeout record with 140 in 62 innings – or more than two Ks per inning.)

Walker is a picture of composure on the mound. He never rattles, and he thrives on pressure.

“His pitches seem effortless and he is in total control,” his mother Karen Walker said.

“On the mound, he is absolutely where he is meant to be. When his feet touch the grass, his nerves just go away.”

Let’s see, a bright, emotionally mature young man with a blazing fastball and an advanced understanding of how to pitch?

Sounds like a major league talent.