Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Assesing the Bedard Trade; Part IV

Time for round four of the Bedard trade assesment. The previous parts are below:
Part I - Adam Jones

Part II - Chris Tillman

Part III - George Sherrill

Now it's time for Part IIII, Tony Butler. Here is what RotoWorld has to say about Butler.

A third-round back in 2006, Butler struggled with his control last season and missed time with arm problems, but is a 6-foot-7 southpaw who works with a low-90s fastball. If his control improves and his secondary pitches develop further, Butler has a chance to be a No. 2 starter. As a hard-throwing left-hander he could also fall back into a bullpen niche if some of the rough edges can't be smoothed out, but at just 20 years old he'll get every opportunity to prove that he can stick in the rotation long term.

Like Chris Tillman, Butler is not near ready for the majors yet. He is still floating around A ball, and hasn't truly blown away everyone yet. He has the tools to become a solid pitcher in a few years. He still needs another year, probably two, maybe even three more seasons in the minors before he is ready for the majors. He is what ProspectInsider has to say about Butler's pitches:

Fastball: 60/75

Butler’s fastball reaches the low 90s, and in time could naturally grow into a mid-90s offering where he can reach back and get to 97 or 98. Velocity isn’t everything, however, as it’s much more critical that he stays on top of his heater and attacks the bottom of the strike zone. He’s already showing as a flyball pitcher, but he can’t let the ratios get out of hand.
His 4-seamer has decent movement, but adding a two-seamer to feed his ground ball ratio wouldn’t be bad idea.

Curve Ball: 55/70

Currently his out pitch, Butler’s curve ball isn’t a true 12-6 breaking ball, but is certainly a curve, not a slider, as has been reported elsewhere. After a 93-mph four-seamer, try hanging in to fight off a 1-7 curve ball with sharp, late action breaking down and out of the zone. Yeah, that’s a good pitch, and it’s only going to get better.
His breaking ball might be his bread and butter and his magic carpet to The Show.

Change: 45/55
The fact that Butler feels good enough about his change-up to throw it as much as he has of late, is a great sign that he understands how important changing speeds truly is for any pitcher.
The club asked him to back off the breaking ball a little bit, so he’s pretty much using fastball-change as he finishes off the year. Considering the fact that he still isn’t getting hit…

Now, it's the part of the show where I tell you my thoughts on Tony Butler. I see the tall lefty to be a successful pitcher in a few years. He has a good arsenal of pitches, but still needs a bit of work with his command, but that will come with experience. Butler is another one of those prospects that could be rushed up to AAA or even the MLB, but shouldn't. The Orioles should take this guy slowly, and watch him succeed further down the road, instead of tomorrow. I think that a comparable pitcher to Butler could be Scott Kazmir. Both show the same qualities; tall, left handed, strong arm, and an overall good pitcher. Look for Butler in 2010 or 2011.


sexsonsucks said...

Tony Butler looks like a better prospect than we were told back in the beginning of the trade rumor crap. this guy could burn the Mariners in five years, hell, so could the other four guys in the trade

Anonymous said...

this guy looks like he is about 12