Lawrence Butler is the type of player that fits the Oakland A’s modus operandi.
He has obvious strengths. His blend of power and speed is certainly intriguing. Butler can not only slot at first base, but could play all three positions in the outfield. That flexibility and all around game certainly fit the type of player that the A’s covet.
Oakland A’s need to find room for Lawrence Butler
But there are flaws. Butler has a 39.4% strikeout rate over the course of his minor league career, limiting the damage he can do. There is no questioning his power and his potential, but his struggles to make contact consistently have to be a concern, especially as he has yet to advance beyond High-A. Injuries may have played a part in his inability to advance thus far as he had a strong showing for the Lansing Lugnuts, but the A’s need him to make more contact to reach that potential.
Those contact issues leave the A’s in a difficult spot when it comes to Butler. He needs to be added to the 40 man roster in the coming days, otherwise the A’s run the risk of losing such an intriguing player during the Rule V Draft.
But that is not a decision that should take too long to answer. Butler showed improvement with his plate discipline while displaying his all around potential during his time in the Arizona Fall League this offseason, being named to the All Star Game for his efforts. If his improvements can continue into 2023 and beyond, he could be a part of the A’s future in the next year or so.
The A’s are not in a position where they can afford to potentially lose intriguing talent. They need to find pieces that can not only be a part of the future, but can be useful soon. Their lack of talent on the major league roster was obvious in 2022, even for a team beginning their rebuilding process. Holding on to Butler should be an easy decision.
The Oakland A’s have to add Lawrence Butler to the 40 man roster soon. It should not be difficult to find a spot to keep him in the organization.