Honey Hunters sign former North Gaston, N.C. State, major league pitching standout

By Richard Walker

The Gastonia Honey Hunters have signed their first player for the upcoming season.

And it’s a player with a local background.

Former North Gaston High standout Jake Buchanan signed with team according to the team’s @gohoneyhunters twitter account release on Thursday morning.

A 2007 North Gaston High graduate, Buchanan was also a standout for Gastonia American Legion Post 23 and at N.C. State and became North Gaston’s first major leaguer when he was promoted by the Houston Astros in 2014. Buchanan later pitched in the majors for the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds in addition to pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Oakland Athletics and Washington Nationals organizations.

A two-time Big South Conference player of the year in high school, Buchanan helped two minor league teams win league titles, was a two-time minor league All-Star and was a member of the Cubs’ historic 2016 World Series championship team.

In four seasons in the major leagues, the 31-year-old Buchanan had a 2-3 pitching record with a 4.73 ERA in 29 appearances (three starts). And in 10 seasons in the minor leagues, Buchanan had a 71-68 pitching record with four saves and a 4.48 ERA in 242 appearances (194 starts).

He last pitched for Las Vegas and Fresno of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League in 2019.

Gastonia is slated to open its 2021 at Gastonia’s new downtown FUSE stadium on May 23.