Lawrence Butler off to hot start in Arizona Fall League
By David Hill
The Arizona Fall League is a chance for prospects to prove themselves against some of the better young players in the game. Lawrence Butler is making the most of his opportunity.
The Oakland A’s 14th ranked prospect has turned some heads early. He may have just 14 plate appearances heading into Sunday for the Mesa Solar Sox, but he has made them count with five hits, including three doubles and a homer, while drawing two walks without a strikeout.
Lawrence Butler raising prospect profile for Oakland A’s
As it is, Butler had begun turning heads in 2021. He had gone from a struggling prospect to a player who someone that is considered to have the potential to be a 20-20 player while moving between first and all three outfield spots. It has been a remarkable transformation and a testament to the work he put in during the pandemic.
That progress could be seen in his performance at High-A as well. He had missed nearly two months due to an arm injury, but he was still able to post a solid .270/.357/.468 batting line with 11 homers and 19 doubles in his 333 plate appearances, stealing 13 bases. However, there were some concerns; while he drew 40 walks, Butler also struck out 105 times.
His swing and miss issues are the biggest concern going forward. The tools are there for Butler to be a solid all around contributor going forward, a player whose power and speed would play at the upper levels. But he needs to make enough contact for that to be the case.
That is ultimately going to be part of what the A’s are looking for during his time in the AFL. Continued adjustments will help improve his contact rates and could be a part of his time in Arizona. So far, in that small sample size, he is doing everything that the A’s had hoped for.
Lawrence Butler has gotten off to a hot start in the Arizona Fall League. This may be the beginning of the adjustments the Oakland A’s were hoping to see.