Jose Butto, RHP, NYM

Jose Butto has one of those pitching stat tables that just speaks to me.

https://streamable.com/milb/mets-butto-strikes-out-seven

  • Born: March 19, 1998
  • B/T: Right/Right
  • 6’1″, 202-lbs
  • Signed by the New York Mets in 2017 out of Venezuela

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

I love charts like Butto’s. Starts off with mostly yellows, moves through the blues, and winds up mostly green. What I especially like about that is the player is improving while he moves up to the harder levels. Does this mean his competition got worse? No, just the opposite. What it means, then, is that Butto’s skills improved so much that while the competition improved, his skills grew even faster.

That BB% cracks me up. Clearly in 2022 he will have a 4% walk rate, then 3% the next year, 2%…OK, no, that’s now how real life works, but you really do see his improvement.

And since the opposite is happening with his strikeout rate, as it grows, his K%-BB% makes leaps every level. And his WHIP just got better and better.

His WHIP was poor against lefties in High-A, but by Double-A he had their number with an almost 4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Of course his ratio against righties at Double-A was about 8-to-1, so he did well against lefties and did great against righties.

The Scouts

Warnings

He throws a low-90s FB, so the big leagues won’t be as friendly.

He throws strikes, which is a good thing when batters only hit .252, .234, and .226 against you (2018, 2019, 221), but in the majors he will have to be craftier.

The scouts don’t think much of him yet.

Conclusion

His FB comes at batters from a 3/4s delivery with easy, repeatable mechanics. His FB may not be that fast, but it has plus spin and late ride, so it’s a plus pitch. And his changeup is also plus, maybe his best pitch that is low-80s and has good separation off his fastball. It can be a plus-plus pitch for him (the best rating a scout can give).

He has a curve that is working its way into average shape, so he’s a starter for sure.

When you have good command and control, throw strikes, have good spin, you can be a nice piece of a rotation. Perhaps only a backend starter, but a starter nonetheless.

With some time in Triple-A in 2022, Butto could be ready to help the Mets late in the season, or earlier if injuries hit. He will be 24 by the time the 2022 season begins. He’s just about ready.

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