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Walker Buehler no stranger to Dodger Stadium, looks up to Zack Greinke

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Walker Buehler pitched at Dodger Stadium in March
Walker Buehler pitched at Dodger Stadium in March
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- First-round draft pick Walker Buehler hopes to one day join the Dodgers' starting rotation. But that won't be the first time for the Vanderbilt right-hander to pitch at Dodger Stadium.

Buehler and Vanderbilt took part in the Dodgertown Classic at Dodger Stadium in March. He pitched against TCU on March 8, and struck out five in four innings while allowing just one run on three hits.

"It was awesome," Buehler said on Monday. "It was my first time ever pitching in a big league ballpark."

Buehler and his Vanderbilt teammates, the defending NCAA champions, are headed again to the College World Series, starting Sunday in Omaha. He was 4-2 with a 2.97 ERA, 81 strikeouts and 25 walks in 78⅔ innings.

"We think he's an accomplished college pitcher with three plus pitches," said Dodgers amateur scouting director Billy Gasparino, running his first Dodgers draft. "He's athletic, he's got power to everything he does."

Buehler didn't talk with the Dodgers before the draft, so he was a little surprised when they picked him at No. 24 overall.

"The same kind of thing happened to me in high school, when I never talked to the team that picked me," Buehler said. "But I'm looking forward to being a part of the organization."

Buehler was also drafted out of Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky, in the 14th round in 2012 by the Pirates, but did not sign.

Asked if there was any current Dodger he would look forward to meeting, Buehler had a quick answer.

"I have always looked up to Zack Greinke," Buehler said. "We have similar body type, and are similar-type pitchers, I hope I can say."

"I hate to get into comparisons because it sets expectations too high, but it's not far off," Gasparino said. "We didn't really have a Zack comp for him, but Zack would be in his mold of pitchers. He's lean-built,  athletic, really smart, and a guy who can really pitch."

Greinke is quite interested in the draft, and at times peeked into the Dodgers' war room a few hours before the game.

"Zack would have liked to have been up there but we had the game," Gasparino said. "We did talk to him after and he was very excited about Walker."

Buehler's Twitter handle is @buehlersdayoff, which led to a question about the movie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which he has embraced.

"I do actually like the movie, and I have seen it a bunch of times. It's one of those things, every first day of school every teacher tries to reinvent the wheel and thinks it's hilarious to do the whole skit. At some point I just rolled with it."