Potential Twins Bullpen Target: Ty Buttrey, RHP, Angels
Image courtesy of © Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsTy Buttrey, RHP, 26-years-old
LA Angels (38-39, 3rd in AL West)
Under team control via arbitration through 2024
2019: 2.52 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 10.60 K/9, 2.78 BB/9 in 35.2 IP
2018: 3.31 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 11.02 K/9, 2.76 BB/9 in 16.1 IP
Ty Buttrey is a relative newcomer on the scene for the LA Angels bullpen, and a welcome one. Buttrey was originally a fourth-round pick of the Boston Red Sox in the 2012 draft but came to the Angels from the Red Sox in exchange for Ian Kinsler at the 2018 deadline. It could work out to be a great deal for the Angels if Buttrey can maintain his current level of performance. Buttrey became the Angels closer at the end of the 2018 season. In a smattering of late big league innings, he put together a rare combination of a K/9 of over 11 and a BB/9 of under 3. He will be under team control through the end of the 2024 season.
What’s to Like?
Buttrey has a classic combination of size and tools to handle a role at the back end of any bullpen. At 6-6, 230 lbs, Buttrey has a 70-grade fastball which averages 97.5 mph in 2019 but he can crank all the way up to 100 mph.
Buttrey throws his fastball approximately 60% of the time but also features a curveball (30%) and a strong changeup (10%). In addition to big velocity and strong command, Buttrey also has an excellent ground ball rate (around 45%), a combination which should allow him to occupy a high leverage relief role for the next 5+ years.
There’s not a ton to be concerned about with Buttrey. His biggest concern is the lack of an established big league track record, which also means he has fewer miles on his arm than other options. Buttrey’s peripheral numbers are slightly worse than his ERA in 2019 (the reverse was true in 2018) with a FIP of 3.09. Buttrey’s ground ball rate has dropped significantly in 2019 (56% to 43%) although his 2018 MLB debut was only 16 innings.
The biggest concern with Buttrey may be the price. With so much team control available to the Angels and a core featuring Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, there’s no good reason to move the Angels best bullpen arm. If they did, he would be one of the best arms available to the Twins at the deadline.
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