Prospect Roundup: Kyle Parker's hot in May and Eddie Butler's first shutout of the season

Kyle Parker - by Charlie Drysdale

After a slow April, Kyle Parker is hitting his stride in May thanks to a lowered strikeout rate. Meanwhile Eddie Butler's numbers have been down, but he produced his first shutout of the season.

Last week we visited strikeout rates and how a specific range (15-20%) can predict if a minor leaguer will perform well at the major league level. Kyle Parker was one of the players represented who can produce within that span and concluded that those numbers alone indicate he could be a good hitter at the major league level.

During the month of May, Kyle Parker has continued to perform in the lower end of that strikeout spectrum, resulting in an 11 game hitting streak. The right-handed hitter performed adequately in the first month of the year with a .282 average and three home runs, but lately he's really turned up the heat with a .362 average and two home runs as we head into the summer .

The former Clemson quarterback was selected by the Rockies with the 26th pick in the first round of the 2010 draft. Parker was lauded for his strength heading into the same draft which produced Bryce Harper as the No. 1 pick. Throughout his minor league career Kyle has continued to slug home runs, producing 20+ in three consecutive seasons -- a feat which has never been accomplished by Colorado's home run elite including Matt Holliday, Carlos Gonzalez or Todd Helton. Former outfielder Brad Hawpe hit 20+ in three separate seasons, the only other Rockie I could find, but his weren't consecutively as he produced only 17 in Double-A Tulsa.

The outfielder/first baseman, who is on the cusp of the major leagues, has been somewhat overlooked by many people. He's ranked No. 5 on our own PuRps poll, MLB.com has him at No. 8 and Fangraphs ranks him way down at No. 10 among Rockies prospects. Compare his wRC+ to Nolan Arenado however, and Parker consistently puts up strong numbers in a side-by-side comparison.


Asheville (A)

Modesto (A+)

Tulsa (AA)

Colo Spgs (AAA)

Kyle Parker

132

152

135

134

Nolan Arenado

137

108

110

167

Nolan had a more elite season in Triple-A, but Parker equaled the output in Asheville and blew Arenado's numbers out of the water in Modesto and Tulsa. This type of production indicates Parker can consistently transfer his skillset against higher level pitchers. Look for Kyle Parker to make an appearance in Coors Field later this summer and begin to replace the role that Michael Cuddyer was filling as a right-handed bat playing first base as well as in the outfield.

Eddie Butler notches his first shutout of the year

"We've been working on four-seamers and getting the consistency of that down." -Eddie Butler to MiLB.com

Last season was a moonshot for Eddie Butler as he began his first full minor league season and seemed to get better and better at each level until he became one of the highest regarded prospects in the Rockies system. The Radford alum produced a 1.66 ERA in Low-A Asheville before earning a mid-season promotion to High-A Modesto.

Once in the California League, Butler's ERA rose slightly to 2.39, but his strikeouts went up as well. Shortly after the June draft, the righthander was quickly promoted to Double-A Tulsa to make room for No. 1 pick Jon Gray in the rotation. Butler was nearly unhittable in the Texas League, giving up just two earned runs in six starts for a 0.65 ERA.

"I definitely want to repeat those numbers," Butler joked to MiLB.com reporter Sam Dykstra. "But it's tough, especially at this level against these hitters. They've got extensive scouting reports on you every time, and they're charting you for the next time you face them. It makes it tough. I faced a few of these same teams last year, and they have that valuable info."

This season has been a little different for steady Eddie, as his ERA has hovered around the 3.00 mark and he's been quietly consistent, with fewer strikeouts. His strikeout rates are way down, he's only getting 14% of batters to whiff compared to his usual 23%. Actually, there's been other markers that are down which indicate Butler isn't performing like before, even though in an interview to MiLB.com Butler claims he's throwing more four-seamers and that's why his numbers are down.

"We've been working on four-seamers and getting the consistency of that down," Eddie Butler to MiLB.com.

The reliance on a four-seam fastball, or a rising fastball may explain why Butler's ground ball rates are down. This season he's producing ground balls at just a 45% rate compared to last season when they sat in the mid-50's. At one point in Asheville, he relied solely on his sinker and produced 69% of his outs through the ground.

It's definitely difficult to repeat such an amazing year, and outwardly it may appear that Butler could be on the right path now as he posted his first shutout of the season in his last start. Facing the Springfield Cardinals, the righthander pitched seven shutout innings, while scattering six hits and striking out four. He was aggressive throwing first pitch strikes to 23 of the 27 hitters he faced, striking out four and scattering six hits.

The nagging thing about the win was his ground balls were again down, as he produced eight flyouts to just four ground ball outs. It's not clear why Butler isn't dominating like last season, but it is apparent that he's not performing up to the levels he is capable of. Perhaps it's the fact that teams have a book on him, or maybe he's just relying on a different pitch selection than he's used to. At this point however, we need to keep a wary eye on Butler to see if he can rediscover that dominance that's in him.

Hottest Prospects of the Week

Hitters - (filtered by OPS) check out the leader in stolen bases for the week.

Name

Age

Tm

PA

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

K

SB

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS ▾

Francisco Sosa

24.33

MOD

18

3

1

0

2

3

2

0

0.400

0.500

0.733

1.233

Brian Humphries

24.25

TUL

20

3

0

1

10

1

1

0

0.444

0.450

0.778

1.228

Tom Murphy

23.17

TUL

21

2

0

1

3

4

3

0

0.353

0.476

0.647

1.123

Jared Simon

25.25

TUL

15

1

0

1

3

1

3

0

0.385

0.400

0.692

1.092

Alec Mehrten

23.92

ASH

8

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0.500

0.571

0.500

1.071

Correlle Prime

20.33

ASH

29

3

0

2

5

3

6

2

0.320

0.379

0.680

1.059

Angelys Nina

25.58

COL

18

1

2

0

4

3

0

1

0.267

0.389

0.600

0.989

Ryan Casteel

23.00

TUL

23

0

0

1

4

2

5

0

0.381

0.435

0.524

0.959

Wilfredo Rodriguez

20.42

ASH

17

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0.471

0.471

0.471

0.942

Trevor Story

21.58

MOD

28

3

1

0

3

3

10

1

0.320

0.393

0.520

0.913

Pitchers (filtered by ERA)

Name

Age

Tm

W

L

IP

G

H

R

ER

HR

BB

IBB

K

ERA ▾

Eddie Butler

23.25

TUL

1

0

7

1

6

0

0

0

1

0

4

0.00

Daniel Winkler

24.33

TUL

1

0

5

1

1

0

0

0

2

0

5

0.00

Christian Bergman

26.08

COL

0

1

14

2

5

1

1

1

3

0

12

0.64

Tyler Matzek

23.67

COL

1

0

7

1

6

1

1

1

3

0

4

1.29

Alex Balog

21.92

ASH

0

1

13

2

12

5

2

0

3

0

6

1.38

Stats from Minorleaguecentral.com 5/7-5/14.

Hottest prospect videos of the week

Kyle Parker owes the BABIP dragon a quarter.

Christian Bergman had an amazing week, completing a 21.2 inning scoreless streak.

Eddie Butler looks good in purple doesn't he?

Trevor Story clears the bases, and nearly misses a home run with this triple for Modesto.

Correlle "Optimus" Prime goes deep as part of his 1.059 OPS this week.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker