MLB Rumors: Is 16-year-old Buddy Dougherty The Next Jered Weaver?

There are thousands and thousands of high school baseball players around the country. Many dream of one day making it to the MLB, but only a small fraction actually do. There are those who are average, those who are above average — call them good — and then those who excel at the game of baseball. They stand out.

Buddy Dougherty, a 16-year-old pitcher from St. Petersburg, Florida is one of the standouts. Dougherty attends Osceola High School, which is located in Largo, Florida. Why Osceola High School in Largo, Florida? Because Buddy Dougherty is one of those who stand out. As a sophomore last year, he finished with a 5-1 record and a 2.90 ERA. Just to give you an idea of how good Osceola is, Dougherty was number three in the Osceola pitching rotation.

Ok, you’re probably thinking that he had a good year. However, a closer examination reveals that Dougherty could be a high MLB draft-pick in two years straight out of high school. He possesses many of the tools required to be a successful pitcher, such as his low-to-mid-80s fastball, his deadly knuckle-curve, a nasty splitter, along with a few others in his arsenal.

The 6-1, 165-pound soon-to-be junior had probably his best performance in the 43rd annual Dunedin High School Spring Classic last season. The Osceola Warriors were able to beat the Tarpon Spongers 4-1, thanks, in large part, to Dougherty’s stellar pitching performance. He threw seven innings, which is a complete game in high school baseball, and allowed only four hits and one earned run.

Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was drafted in the first round back in 2004. Weaver has posted a career 3.22 ERA, and also has a no-hitter to his credit. Dougherty resembles Weaver, in that his breaking ball is oft-used, and one of his great strengths. Many pitchers rely on the fastball, but Dougherty, like Weaver, isn’t afraid to throw a breaking ball. Dougherty has a real chance to become the next Jered Weaver, and does have the potential to be a very effective major league pitcher.

Dougherty hasn’t decided where he would like to play baseball after high school. He’s left the option of being drafted out of high school open, but has always been a fan of the Florida State baseball program, which is one of the best in the United States.

Follow Max Luckan on Twitter @MaxLuckan

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