Butler, 25, was drafted 46th overall by the Rockies in 2012 and he continued to display that pedigree as a minor leaguer, ranking on top-100 prospect lists from Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus prior to both the 2014 and 2015 seasons. (BA ranked Butler as the 24th-best prospect in baseball in their 2014 list.) While Butler pitched well in the lower levels, however, it’s worth noting that he struggled even at the Triple-A level, posting a 5.03 ERA over 157 1/3 innings in the very hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
Pitching in parts of the last three seasons for Colorado, Butler posted a 6.50 ERA, 1.34 K/BB rate and 5.3 K/9 over 159 1/3 innings for the Rockies, starting 28 of his 36 career big league games. Despite a solid 48.6% career grounder rate, home runs have been Butler’s largest issue, with a whopping 18.1% of his fly balls leaving the yard. While Coors Field has played a role in Butler’s problems (a 7.92 ERA in 69 1/3 IP in Denver), the righty has also posted a 5.40 ERA in 90 road innings over his brief career.
Since we’re less than two years removed from Butler holding blue-chip prospect status, it wouldn’t be surprising if Butler draws interest from multiple teams wondering if he could get on track in a more pitcher-friendly environment. Check out the MLB Trade Rumors DFA Tracker to monitor the status of Butler and other players around the bigs who are awaiting their next assignment.