Last night the Los Angeles Angels traded veteran infielder Ian Kinsler to the Boston Red Sox for two minor league prospects: right-handed pitcher Ty Buttrey and left-handed pitcher Williams Jerez. Here’s a quick look at the two newest members of the Angels organization.
Ty Buttrey, RHP: Buttrey was drafted by the Red Sox in the fourth round in 2012 from high school in Charlotte, North Carolina. General rawness with some command troubles slowed his progress and he also missed time in 2014 after breaking his hand in frustration at a bad play. Erratic as a starter, he moved to the bullpen in 2016 and improved. He’s having a fine 2018 season in Triple-A, posting a 2.25 ERA in 44 innings for Pawtucket with a 64/14 K/BB.
Buttrey is 25 years old, listed at 6-6, 230. He had some problems maintaining consistent velocity as a starter but in the bullpen his fastball plays well, 94-97 MPH with peaks at 99. He has a good change-up but his slider is below average and lack of a reliable breaking ball was part of the reason he didn’t last as a starter. His command has improved significantly over the last year and he’s ready for a shot in the major league bullpen.
Williams Jerez, LHP: Jerez was born in the Dominican Republic but attended high school in New York City and was drafted by the Red Sox in the second round in 2011. Originally an outfielder, he converted to pitching in 2014 and adapted rapidly to his new vocation, posting a 3.27 ERA in 62 innings (52/23 K/BB) in Double-A/Triple-A in 2017 and a 3.63 ERA in 52 innings in Triple-A this year (69/24 K/BB).
Jerez is 26 years old, listed at 6-4, 200 pounds. He has an impressive fastball, 93-96 MPH with peaks as high as 98. His secondary pitches, a slider and a split-change, are rather inconsistent but both can be quite good on the right day. He’s improved his strikeout rate as he’s gained pitching experience and can be tough for left-handed hitters to manage, although his control remains erratic enough to make him human. He is ready for a bullpen trial now.
ASSESSMENT: Both Buttrey and Jerez are ready for shots in the bullpen. Kinsler is still a good player but he’s also 36 years old and a pending free agent. I think the Angels did well here.