LAKEWOOD, N.J. (CBS) – David Buchanan,  out of Georgia State, was the Phillies’ seventh-round pick in last year’s draft, and now in 2011 the 22-year-old righthander is proving he was well worth that high draft status.

Buchanan, slated to start tonight at Greensboro, has easily been the most consistent starter for the Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws this season.  He is 7-2 in ten starts, with a skinny 1.97 ERA.

What is he throwing that is allowing him to have this kind of success?

“I live a lot off my two-seam,” he told KYW’s Matt Leon.  “I like to get balls off the end of the bat and just miss the barrel, mainly.  Throw a four-seam, change-up, and a slider.  I’ve been working on the slider to get it a little harder.  Beginning of the season it was a little loopy, but it’s coming along.  It’s getting better but it’s something I continue to work on.”

Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with David Buchanan in this CBS Philly SportsPod…

Buchanan’s success this season has come as no surprise to his manager in Lakewood, Chris Truby.

“I had him last year (at Williamsport) and he was one of our most steady guys last year,” Truby says.  “He’s a guy that gets a lot of quick outs, ground balls.  He’s gone deep into games a number of times because he gets quick outs, stays off the middle of the plate, sinks the ball.  He’s got everything going.”

Buchanan has been a horse for the BlueClaws.  He has pitched at least seven innings in six of his ten starts this season — that includes a complete-game win over Charleston on May 7th.

In fact, he has had just one start where he lasted less than five innings.

“I try to go out there for as long as I can and for as hard as I can to get the job done and help out the team to get a win,” Buchanan says.

And he says he has a clear plan of what he wants to focus on the rest of the season:

“I’m a strike throwing guy, that’s really what I base my success off of.  Mainly I just want to continue to work on strike one.  I’d like to get 0-1 to every hitter I face — that’s always a goal.  I like to force contact in three pitches or less.  If I can do that, continue to throw strikes, first of all that’s going to lower my pitch count and let me to go deeper into ballgames without as much stress on my arm.  And then work my fastball on both sides of the plate consistently and get my slider a little sharper.   I think that would be the right steps for me to go right now.”

Buchanan and the BlueClaws currently sit at 28-24, good for fourth place in the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division, but they are only 3½ games behind first place Hagerstown.

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060

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