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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ty Buttrey: Boston Red Sox's Pitching Prospect Primed for Big Things

High school baseball prospects can be difficult to gauge, especially when they are pitchers. After all, these youngsters are usually not yet finished growing or filling out their frames. Nobody can truly tell what they will be when they reach full maturity.

Whenever a team covets a high school player enough to do whatever they can to lure them away from college in order to being them into the organization, it’s safe to say it’s because they possess special talent. Keeping that in mind, the Boston Red Sox must think awfully highly of pitcher Ty Buttrey.

The big right-hander attended Providence High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. He always stood out among his peers, but it all really culminated as a senior when he went 9-2 with a 0.91 ERA and 100 strikeouts. Naturally, he drew a lot of attention from colleges and was primed to attend the University of Arkansas.

Buttrey’s decision to be a college man was destined to be a difficult one. He was considered one of the best high school pitchers in the country when the Red Sox drafted him in the fourth round (151st overall selection) in 2012.

Determined to not let the talented young pitcher go, the Red Sox gave Buttrey a big bonus to convince him to start his professional career. Already possessing a fastball in the low-to-mid 90s and developing secondary offerings, it was a good gamble.

Following four games in the Gulf Coast League in 2012, he put in his first full professional season this year with the Lowell Spinners of the New York-Penn League. The 20-year-old showed why the Red Sox were right to be so high on him, as he went 4-3 with a 2.21 ERA in 13 starts. He struck out 35 batters and didn’t allow a home run in his 61 innings.

Having seen him pitch and also put in his work before games, I can attest to the serious nature in which Buttrey hones his craft. If he keeps defining his game as he progresses through the minors, the Red Sox will have another prominent prospect that will help them maintain their ranking as the top farm system in baseball, according to a recent Baseball America feature.

The pitcher recently took time out during his offseason to answer some questions about his career. Read on for a better look at one of Boston’s players of the future.

Ty Buttrey Interview:

Who was your favorite player when you were growing up, and why?:
My favorite player growing up was Roger Clemens because of his dominant presence on the mound, and how he attacked the strike zone and wasn't afraid of anyone.

How did you first find out that the Red Sox were interested in you?: I knew the Red Sox were interested in me when the area scout Quincy Boyd came to my house for an in-home meet and I answered questions and filled out forms.

What pitches do you throw and which do you think you need to work on the most?: I throw a four-seam, changeup and spike curve. The pitch I need to work on the most is my changeup because that makes every other pitch better.

What do you consider to be the primary strengths of the Boston organization?: The Red Sox have so many positive things going on for them that I can't pick just a few. They do a great job of putting me in the best position to succeed and the coaching is amazing.

How difficult is it to handle the attention that comes with being a top Red Sox prospect?: It's not difficult because I don't think of myself as a top prospect. I am just another player in the minor leagues and the goal is to get to the MLB. Nothing in the minors matters if you don't reach that goal.

What are your personal goals for 2014?: My personal goals for next year is to worry about things I can control and go out there and give it my best every game. Focus on getting ahead of the count and learning a better feel for my off speed.

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