Over the All-Star break, we'll be highlighting some of the players who've overperformed or underperformed their projections during the first half by imagining what we might write about them if the Baseball Prospectus annual were updated today.
The Red Sox' rotation, dismal in 2012, spent the first half of 2013 jockeying with the Tigers for the lowest ERA in the American League, and Buchholz' resurgence has been a key component of the staff's turnaround. Plagued over the first half-decade of his big-league career by injuries and inconsistency, Buchholz has seemingly resolved the latter problem by gaining better command of his arsenal and learning how to dominate opponents with his fastball, which in turn has made his excellent changeup even more effective. If he maintains those strides and the shoulder bursitis that sidelined the right-hander for most of June subsides, the Red Sox might have themselves a new ace—one who could be retained on team-friendly terms through the 2017 season. —Daniel Rathman