Clay D. Buchholz (born August 14, 1984, in Lumberton, Texas), is the consensus number one pitching prospect in the Boston Red Sox system today. After throwing a no-hitter on September 1, 2007, in his second career major-league start, becoming the second pitcher in the modern era to do so, he has more than likely secured his position in the big leagues for the foreseeable future.
- Buchholz has a low-to-mid 90s four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball with decent movement, a slider, a hard 12-to-6 curveball, and a change-up. In 2006, Buchholz actually let loose towards the end of the season, when his fastball was sitting around 96 mph. However, over the course of the season his fastball typically sits around 91-94 and tops out at about 97 mph. His plus change-up is generally a straight change that sits around 78-82 mph; he also throws a circle change. His curveball, the best in the organization, sits between 76-81 mph with a knee-buckling bite. On any given night, Buchholz's curve or change can be unhittable, and he tends to rely on whichever one is on as his out pitch throughout the game. His slider, while average to above average, is a bit behind his other secondary pitches and sits in the low to mid 80s. Mixes in all of his pitches phenomenally. Good demeanor on the mound. Pitches well under pressure, pitching coaches have said he has ice water running through his veins. Nice pick-off move. He has struggled with consistency early in his big-league career, but otherwise has ace makeup. Might need to add and maintain some weight to endure a full major league season. In 2008, Buchholz had some major struggles with command and confidence, leading to lackluster results. ~ SoxProspects.com
- He has a good low to mid 90's 4-seam and 2-seam fastball that has touched 97. He has a plus curveball, plus change-up, and a solid slider. Either his curveball or his change-up are generally considered his best pitch, although all four are in the conversation. Has a fresh arm because he played outfield at McNeese State and pitched sparingly. Has developed into a top pitching prospect.
Drafted out of Angelina Junior College in the first compensation round of the 2005 draft. Was rated as the 51st best prospect for the 2005 draft by Baseball America. He left McNeese State after his freshman season after he stole computers from his school.
- 2005 East Conference (JuCo) Player of the Year
Minor League Career
- 2007: Advanced from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Pawtucket before making his major league debut over 2 stints with the Red Sox. Clay was named Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year for the 2nd straight season after combining to go 8-5 with a 2.44 ERA and 171 strikeouts in 125.1 innings in 24 games (23 starts) at Portland and Pawtucket. He led all minor league pitchers with an average of 12.34 strikeouts per 9 innings and was 4th in strikeouts. Had the 5th lowest opponents batting average at .191. Buchholz was 7-2, 1.77 at Portland and 1-3, 3.96 at Pawtucket.
- 2006: Began the season with the Greenville Drive, where he was 9-4 with a 2.62 ERA in 21 starts before being promoted to the Wilmington Blue Rocks, where he posted a 2-0 record and a 1.13 ERA.
- 2005: Selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 1st Round (42nd Pick) of the 2005 Amateur Draft. He made his pro debut that summer with the Lowell Spinners and went 0-1 with a 2.61 ERA in 15 starts.
Minor League Awards
- Carolina League Pitcher of the Week (August 21 - 27, 2006)
- Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Month - August 2006
- 2006 Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year
- International League Pitcher of the Week (April 27 - May 3, 2009)
- International League Pitcher of the Week (May 25-31, 2009)
- Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Month (May 2009)
- 2009 International League All Star
Major League Career
- 2008: In 2008, Buchholz had some major struggles with command and confidence, leading to lackluster results.
- 2007: Clay made his major league debut on August 17, 2007, and picked up the win vs. Angels ace John Lackey in the first game of a doubleheader. Clay went six innings, gave up 8 hits, 4 runs (3 ER), 3 BB, and 5 K. Clay was optioned down to Pawtucket following the game, but returned in the September call-up in time to make his second big-league start on September 1.
Major League Awards
- American League Player of the Week (August 27 - September 2, 2007)
Moment in the Sun
- September 1, 2007: In his second career start, Clay pitched a no-hitter, leading the Red Sox to a 10-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. He became only the second pitcher to get a no-hitter within his first two career starts since 1900, after Wilson Alvarez in 1991. He pitched nine strikeouts, and gave up three walks and hit one batter.
- March 13, 2008: Announced that he was tapping Penthouse Pet of the Year Erica Ellyson.
- Teammates call him "Buck"
- He's special!!!
- Probably gets more ass than we ever will.
- Baseball-Reference.com - Career Statistics and Analysis