Tag Archives: Billy Butler

Fantasy Owners Burned By Drafting Billy Burns

A’s CF Billy Burns is one of the disappointments so far.  Last season was a breakout for the speedy center fielder with a .292/.334/.726 slash rate. Fantasy owners took notice of the nice OBP and 26 steals. Burns played well this spring training with a slash rate of .333/.361/.474 to go along with 5 steals. In my opinion Burns has played well enough to keep the starting job in Center Field for the Athletics.

Manager Bob Melvin and General Manager David Forst actions so far have said otherwise. Burns has started only 5 of 9 games so far with Coco Crisp starting 5 as well. The A’s have a logjam all over the diamond Josh Reddick, Chris Coghlan, Billy Burns, Coco Crisp, and Khris Davis fighting for playing time in the outfield alone.  Coghlan has already seen time this season at 2B, 3B, LF, RF, and DH.  Stephen Vogt is locked in as the catcher but if Vogt is the DH then Billy Butler sits.  Butler has been benched quite a bit, while new addition Yonder Alonso has started 8 games at 1B despite batting just .115.

The platooning does make sense, however I have problem with cutting down the development of youth.  Playing a 36 year-old injury prone player in Coco Crisp over a 26 year-old emerging player in Billy Burns is a real problem. If adding Crisp to the lineup is a priority then why not play him in LF and move Khris Davis to DH? Being able to watch Davis everyday I would argue against any stats that grade him out as a decent fielder. Davis has a weak arm and doesn’t break on balls very well. The A’s acquired Davis for his power and OBP.  Crisp at age 36 may be better suited for a complimentary 4th outfielder role than a starting spot. Only time will tell if his body is able to hold up.  History says it won’t as Crisp hasn’t played 145 games in a season since the 2007 campaign.

Fantasy owners shouldn’t cut bait with Billy Burns just yet.  I recommend not overanalyzing the opening weeks of the baseball season.  Fantasy owners drafted Burns looking for steals, but you can’t steal from the bench. I expect Burns to be playing on a regular basis shortly.

Will Billy Butler Bounce Back in Oakland?

Athletics DH/1B Billy Butler is one of my favorite late round sleepers for the 2015 season. Butler had enough of a power outage last season that the Royals decided to buy him out. Country Breakfast’s numbers fell off a cliff.  On-base percentage has always been a selling point on Butler but that dropped from .374 to .323. Runs above replacement player were 21 in 2013 and bottomed out at -3 in 2014. Injuries don’t tell the story as Butler played in 151 games last season. At age 28 has Butler’s skill set fallen off a cliff?

 

I’m not buying that Butler is washed up. The 2012 season of 29 ding-dongs and 107 RBI serves as a career year for Butler. Career splits are a better way to evaluate Butler for fantasy owners. In the AL West, Butler is going to play in 3 spacious pitchers parks. Potential ding-dongs die in the outfield, but Doubles will certainly fall in to play.  3 out of the 4 venues in the AL West Butler has done some serious damage in his career. In Oakland, Butler sports a .354 career OBP in 130 career plate appearances.  Angel Stadium is a home away from home for Butler with a .402 OBP in 127 plate appearances. At Rangers Ball Park in 129 plate appearances, Butler sports a .380 OBP. While Safeco Field has been a problem for Butler, with just a.319 OBP in 113 career plate appearances.

 

A’s GM Billy Beane has always favored players with a high on-base percentage.  Beane is one of the most well respected talent evaluators in the game today. Beane giving Butler a 3-year deal makes me believe Butler isn’t finished up just yet. If Beane is sold on him I am as well.  I plan to draft Butler as much as possible this season. In a 10-team league Butler was my 16th rd draft choice and will play 1B until Ryan Zimmerman picks up 1B eligibility.  Butler should be able to do some damage hitting in the heart of the order for the A’s.  There’s a certain period in each draft where its time to buy lottery tickets on bounce back veterans or stash young players. In my opinion Butler is worthy of one of those lottery tickets.