Padres Editorial: A Sleeper Prospect For 2015
By Jason Evans
Teams are always looking for that quick rising prospect who can help them in the majors as soon as possible. For the Kansas City Royals, Brendan Finnegan went from pitching in the College World Series to the World Series in a few short months. When Joba Chamberlain burst onto the scene for the Yankees, it was one year after he was drafted. Chris Sale rose quickly as well.
The Padres have some top prospects in their system. Some who could be in the show this year like Austin Hedges or Matt Wisler. There is one prospect who you may or may not see in various top 10 lists who could also make an impact this year.
Ryan Butler was the Padres seventh round pick this past season out of the University of North Carolina. He struggled at Low A, but when he moved up to High-A Fort Wayne, he put up some impressive numbers. He went 1-1 with a 0.83 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 21.2 innings, while giving up just 17 hits.
ESPN’s Keith Law ranked Butler as the 10th Padres prospect. Here is what he had to say about him:
"Butler, their seventh-round pick in 2014 out of UNC Charlotte, had a fastball in the 97-100 mph range with an average slider in relief this summer after the Padres junked his curveball. He could be pitching in the majors late in 2015 or in early 2016 if the slider just gets more consistent."
Power stuff plays. As long as it isn’t super straight, you can get guys out. The Padres may have had the best bullpen in the NL last year, and adding another young, cheap power arm in this day and age is what you want.
Butler won’t break camp. He may not even be with the team in August. Butler is someone you should keep an eye on throughout the season though, because power bullpen arms can rise quickly. Maybe Butler is that guy for the Padres.