Prospect List: #19

Today, last year's #2, Josh Butler:


Butler got off to a tremendous start, helping San Diego sweep Texas to start the season. But like the Toreros, Butler has slipped as the season has worn on. After taking the summer off to rest his arm, Butler showed electric stuff early in the season, when he formed a power 1-2 punch with freshman Brian Matusz atop the San Diego rotation. His fastball sat in the 91-94 mph range with good life. He finished off hitters with the fastball or one of two breaking balls: a firm 12-to-6 curveball, or a sweeping, hard slider. His mechanics proved too taxing for him to maintain his stuff over the course of the season, and his strikeout numbers steadily dropped. Butler has improved his mental approach; now he needs his body to mature. He needs to add strength and incorporate his lower half into his delivery more, putting less stress on his arm and making him more durable. He still ranks as the second-best prospect in a down year for San Diego County, behind San Diego State's Justin Masterson.
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