Colorado Rockies right-hander Eddie Butler has been promoted to the Class-A Advanced Modesto Nuts.
Butler, taken 46th overall in the 2012 draft out of Radford, had a 1.66 ERA over nine starts and 54.1 innings for the Asheville Tourists. One of his better outings came against the Augusta GreenJackets on May 7, allowing just one hit over six innings, walking five and striking out five.
Butler is ranked sixth in the Rockies system by Baseball America, and he should easily find himself in the top five by next season. He has a hard, sinking fastball in the mid-90s that has a ton of weight to it. He allowed just one fly ball over the six innings at Augusta.
His secondaries lag a tick behind the fastball, but he has a solid slider and can change the pace of it. His changeup is the key to his upper-level success as a starter, but he flashed a couple that were pretty solid pitches during his Augusta start.
"That’s the main thing I throw is my sinker," said Butler after his May 7 start. "That’s the big reason why I was picked up by the Rockies, where I was picked up at, because that sinker can get a lot of ground balls, which works out well at high elevation."
Butler isn't the biggest guy weight or muscle wise, and he has long arm action, but his commmand profile is outstanding for the stuff he has. Because of his body and delivery, there will be durability concerns, but things have been smooth so far.
"He was keeping the ball down, that’s for sure," Asheville manager Fred Ocasio said. "Keeping the ball down and anywhere from 96-97 to where the ones he pitched with that velocity and down in the zone, that’s what you’re going to get out of him, a lot of ground balls."