The addition of Billy Butler to the Athletics has many in Oakland excited for 2015. Just ask staff writer Jen Trumpp. Butler will be bringing the BBQ sauce to the East Bay for the next (possibly) three seasons, but there is a some trepidation to which slugger will don the green and gold. 2014 was a down year all around for Country Breakfast, but many fans, myself included, think that last season was a mirage. So let’s play some over/under with our shiny new toy.
Butler’s career average for a season is 18 homers, with 29 being his high in 2012, and his low in a full season being last year’s 9. Do I think he’s a 30 home run guy? Nope. He hits for a decent average, so some power is sacrificed, but I could definitely see Billy Butler putting up 20 homers next season. That is a feat he has only accomplished twice in his career (2012, and 21 in 2009) but the change of scenery could help him out. The biggest factor that could go into all of this is the level of pitching he’ll be facing in the AL West, compared to the AL Central.
While the Central has had the likes of Chris Sale, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer for some time, the West has seemingly the entire Seattle pitching staff, Yu Darvish, some good arms with the Angels, and an improving Houston squad. How do you think he’ll do? Over or under 20 homers for Butler in 2015?
Ah, batting average. The sexiest of the baseball stats. Wait, no it isn’t. Good, we have an intro for this section. Moving on. Butler’s .271 average from a year ago was the worst of his career, well below his .295 career average. In 2013, he hit .289, and held a .313 clip in 2012. The three year trend seems to be going downward, but of course we’re hoping there is a spike in his numbers when he puts on the white cleats.
This one is simple: over or under a .290 average for BB next season?
Have I mentioned that 2014 was a down year for Butler? His 66 rbi was his lowest total…you get the point. Butler has eclipsed 100+ rbi just once in his career, in, you guessed it, 2012. You’re good at this game! He’s averaged 87 rbi per season in his career, but even that mark may be a little high for this game. The reasoning there is that his rbi total will depend on a few factors. First, are people getting on base ahead of him? Also, where will he bat in the order?
It can be safely assumed that Butler will be slotted somewhere in the 3-4-5 range in the order, which will help in terms of opportunity, but not necessarily account for a large increase over his rbi total in 2014. I’m going to set the over/under bar at 80 rbi. What do you think?
This last one doesn’t get a fancy bold heading, because it will be quick. Over or under one stolen base for Country Breakfast? He has five in his career, just saying.
Let us know what you think, either in the comments below, or on Twitter!