Under the Red Sox radar: Dan Butler
Dan Butler was signed by the Boston Red Sox as an amateur free agent. That is a polite way of saying no one thought enough of his skill set to draft Butler. Signed as an afterthought to fill up some space in the lower minors.
Butler was brought on board as a slim and none in the chance department of eventually making it to the MLB level. A player consigned to a career of minor league ball. The next Jeff Bailey, only with no cup of coffee or a very short one. So far, Butler has had just a sip.
Butler has certainly proven his durability, both physical and emotional, by plugging away, doing what was asked and moving up the minor league chain.
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There is nothing in Butler’s minor league slash of .256/.349/.416, 47 home runs and 241 RBI in over 1,900 plate appearances that makes anyone view Butler as a hitting dynamo. Butler’s defense and game calling have elicited the positives.
Butler does not display a howitzer arm like current number one Christian Vazquez or the hitting potential of Blake Swihart, but from all reports pitchers at Pawtucket loved his game. That symbiotic catcher-pitcher relationship certainly has gotten Butler some style points and some time in Boston.
What is his future with Boston?
Butler will be 28 years old next season. He’ll show up at spring training and in all probability be considered as the tutor for young Mr. Swihart at Pawtucket. Don’t count this guy out. Not yet. Butler appears to be of that same persistent mold that Daniel Nava fell out of. The poster children for every guy who is a long shot or toiling away in some independent league.
The Red Sox just may cut David Ross loose and, if unable to land a job, he could be an invitee to camp. Ross will be 38 years-old and his bat has slumped. Ross is still an excellent defensive player and game caller who also has a $3M price tag. The Red Sox in all probability will be looking for some experience behind the plate and that will also mean some hitting of note. Butler has neither – yet.
The Butler types should never be discounted. Players like Butler are resilient and have a long history of doing just what they need to impress managers and coaches. Butler may lose out in the spring to a more upscale option, but somewhere in 2015 Butler just may prove his value to the big club.