Butler, 22, spent the bulk of the season in High-A where he slashed .270/.357/.468 with a 12% walk rate and a 31.5% strikeout rate. Baseball America tabs him 15th among Oakland farmhands, lauding his 70-grade raw power (on the 20-80 scale) and penchant for top-of-the-scale exit velocities. He also boasts plus speed, per their report, but has a tendency to swing and miss even though he’ll also draw plenty of walks. Butler is an outfielder for now but has also garnered some experience at first base.
Harris, 26 next month, isn’t considered among the organization’s top-ranked prospects but put himself on the map with a promising showing across three levels in 2022. The 6’3″, 230-pound southpaw didn’t pitch in 2020 due to the canceled minor league season and missed all of 2021 recovering from Tommy John surgery.
However, he returned with a sub-2.00 ERA and a 35.8% strikeout rate in 43 1/3 innings between High-A and Double-A before getting torched for a 6.35 ERA in 28 1/3 innings late in the season in a very hitter-friendly Triple-A Las Vegas setting. Walks were an issue even at those lower levels, but Harris’ success in Double-A and ability to miss bats from the left side might’ve made him an appealing Rule 5 target even with questions about his ability to consistently locate the ball.