Lawrence Butler continuing Arizona Fall League hot streak
By David Hill
Oakland A’s prospect Lawrence Butler is not showing any signs of cooling off in the Arizona Fall League.
Butler had impressed once the AFL got underway, belting a homer and three doubles amongst his five hits in his first 14 plate appearances. He even showed improvements with his contact rate and plate discipline, drawing two walks while striking out once. However, it was a small sample size and may not have been sustainable.
Lawrence Butler showing progress Oakland A’s were looking for
That impressive run is not showing any signs of slowing down. Butler now has a .321/.432/.714 batting line in his 37 plate appearances. His blend of power and speed has been on display as he has two homers, three doubles, and a triple while driving in 12 runs and stealing two bases.
His improved plate discipline has continued as well. Butler has struck out just five times while drawing seven walks, showing much better contact skills than he had in the past. Swing and miss issues had been a problem in the past, as he has struck out 388 times in 1137 plate appearances over his minor league career.
While the A’s are going to watch Butler’s performance in Arizona, they were likely more concerned with seeing progress than having his statistics jump off the page. In this case, they are getting both – a dominant performance in the AFL while he is making the adjustments needed to tap into his potential.
Based on his performance, both in the AFL and in High-A last season, Butler is likely heading to Double-A to begin the 2023 campaign. He will face a proving ground where the true prospects are separated out, where tools and raw ability have to come together for results. If this progress can continue, Butler may become the type of prospect that the A’s hoped for.
Lawrence Butler is impressing thus far in the Arizona Fall League. He may be taking the step forward that the Oakland A’s had been hoping for.