When he wasn't in a game, Jacob Butler was off in a side field in Dunedin during spring training…
Scouting Jays Prospect #28- Jacob Butler
Name: Jacob Butler
DOB: February 9, 1983
Butler started between Lansing and Dunedin last season, despite having the physical abilities to perform better. He batted just .251 in 98 games with Lansing last season with 11 home runs, and struck out 110 times in 375 at bats. Butler also saw limited action with Dunedin last season and batted just .145 with a home run and 17 strikeouts in 55 at bats.
The 23-year-old knew how important his 2007 season will be and worked hard during the off-season and into spring training to tone his game. The work has paid off.
Butler led the Florida State League with 23 home runs and finished third with 85 runs batted in. Butler also ranked third in the league with 80 runs scored.
Part of his improvement this year has been his plate awareness. Although most scouts still believe he's striking out often for his level, Butler has lowered his strikeout ratio this year.
Butler was fairly consistent over the first three months of the season, but struggled in July. He batted just .202 in 26 games, however, he's raised his game to another level once again over his last 15 games, batting .271 with five home runs.
Butler finished the year off in the Florida State League. Butler remains as one of the top outfield prospects and power hitting prospects in the Jays system, and he'll be working hard once again this winter to avoid a letdown in 2008 when he begins the year off in Double-A.
Batting and Power Description: Butler is a power hitting outfielder and a legitimate power threat in professional baseball. Several talent evaluators would like to see Butler sharpen up his swing a little to cut down on his strikeouts, but do view the first-year player with average power for an outfielder at this stage.
Base Running and Speed Description: Butler is not a threat to steal much, but has average speed. He is an athletic player that has ability in all five tools of the game. He can run the bases well, and will not hurt a club on the base paths.
Defense Description: Butler played mostly left field with Dunedin. Although Butler has experience playing both corner infield positions, and even some center field, talent evaluators view Butler as a corner outfielder in professional baseball – most likely left field.
2008 Outlook: Butler will begin the season with Double-A New Hampshire
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