Jordan Butler was already on the scouts’ radar as a pitcher, but this season, he has showed he’s definitely a two-way threat.
Butler was named to the American Family Insurance preseason ALL-USA team. Since then, the senior left-handed pitcher and first baseman from Alonso (Tampa) is 7-1 with a 1.12 earned run average and 93 strikeouts in 56 innings. He has two four-inning no-hitters and his only loss was a 3-2 defeat to Jefferson (Tampa) on April 25 when he allowed one hit over six innings.
He’s also leading the Ravens with a .459 batting average, seven homers and 31 RBI through 74 at-bats.
“At the plate, I’ve improved my pitch selection and I’m getting my pitch and not chasing the curve or change-up, like I did last year,” Butler said. “On the mound, I’d say that my command has improved and I’ve finally found a grip that works for me for the change-up.”
Alonso coach Landy Faedo, who coached the Miami Marlins’ late Jose Hernandez at Alonso and his son, Florida pitcher Alex Faedo, said Butler could be a two-way player.
“He’s pretty smart at the plate and makes good adjustments and every ball he hit, he squares up,” Faedo said. “The big thing at the next level is guys are more consistent and he’s one of those guys.”
Butler’s fastball has hit 93 mph this season, but his location is the main reason he had dominated.
“I’ve just really focused on not leaving things over the plate and nibbling the corners and doing that with all my pitches,” Butler said.
Butler is a Florida signee but should go in the top six rounds of the June draft. He’s 6-2 and 193 pounds and has a three-quarters delivery that often starts in the strike zone only to end up on the outside part of the plate to left-handers and low and inside to right-handers.
“He’s competitive and a command of all three of his pitches and just has a will or want to win,” Faedo said. “He does every pitch with conviction. It doesn’t matter what the count is. The scouts are there for him. I’ve had some players and by Jose Hernandez is the best pitcher we’ve had, but Jordan is the best two-way pitcher, combination hitter and pitcher.”
Butler got one of his team’s four hits this season in a 2-0 shutout loss to Steinbrenner and another American Family Insurance ALL-USA preseason player, pitcher Chris Van Eyk.
“Me and C.J. have been good friends since we were young,” Butler said. “We text back and forth all the time and we tell each other what we’re doing wrong and what we like about each other. I’d say that we learn from each other. We played on some travel ball teams together.”