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SoxProspects News

October 17, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Jamie Callahan and Ty Buttrey

SoxProspects.com is counting down its season-end top 40 prospects, recapping their seasons and previewing what's ahead in 2014. You can find all of the entries in this year's series here.

#24: Jamie Callahan, RHP

2013 Team: Lowell Spinners
Final Stats: 59.7 IP, 5-1, 3.92 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 54 SO, 17 BB


Season in Review: After being selected in the second round of the 2012 draft by the Red Sox, Callahan pitched just 8 2/3 innings last season in the GCL. He impressed with the Lowell Spinners in 2013, however, striking out 54 batters in 59 2/3 innings pitched. Following a strong first start and a few bumps in the road in early July, Callahan caught fire just before August, striking out 17 batters and giving up just one hit while facing the minimum in 12 innings over two starts. These two outings earned him two straight Pitcher of the Week Awards on both SoxProspects.com and in the New York-Penn League, and started a stretch of eight starts to end the year in which he allowed 24 hits and eight walks over 38 innings, striking out 39 batters and posting a 2.84 ERA.

First-Hand Report and 2014 Outlook: From the Fall Instructional League in 2012 to his time with Lowell this past year, Callahan took major strides forward both with his delivery and with his stuff. If he continues on the path, he has the potential to be one of the more intriguing Red Sox arms in the lower minors. Callahan has a good frame and has already started to fill it out, especially in his lower half. He has cleaned up his delivery and now throws almost directly over the top, but the arm action behind his body is still long. He doesn’t always stay on top of the ball, resulting in it being very straight and hittable when that happens. Callahan usually works in the low-90s with his fastball, but in game action this year I saw him touch 95 mph. His curveball is a true 12-6 breaker, and has flashed good bite, but how hard he throws the pitch varied from 74-80 mph, depending on the outing, as he still seems to be working on feeling the pitch. Callahan seems to have more feel for his changeup, but again he was inconsistent with the pitch, throwing it anywhere from 82-86 mph and tending to slow his arm down. Near the end of the season Callahan started to incorporate what seemed like a cutter between 86-87 mph. He had some success with the pitch and it showed solid potential. It will be interesting to see what happens with the pitch going forward and if it is something he starts to use more. Callahan will likely start the year with Greenville and is someone whose stock could rise with a solid showing there. – Ian Cundall


#23: Ty Buttrey, RHP

2013 Team: Lowell Spinners
Final Stats: 61.0 IP, 4-3, 2.21 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 35 SO, 21 BB


Season in Review: Drafted two rounds after his Lowell teammate Callahan in 2012 (and given a $1.3 million signing bonus), Buttrey flashed some intriguing potential during his time with the Spinners as well. After a tough first start in which he allowed four runs on four hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings, the 6-foot-6 right-hander cruised the rest of the way, posting a 1.63 ERA over 60 2/3 innings. He was a model of consistency in preventing runs, allowing over two earned runs just twice in 13 games started, but he showed that he does have some work to do after striking out just 35 batters in 61 innings.

First-Hand Report and 2014 Outlook: There’s a lot to like when you see Buttrey pitch, but there is a significant gap between what he could be and what he is presently. Buttrey has a starting pitcher’s frame, but has trouble holding velocity and will need to refine his body as he physically matures. He has a controlled, easy delivery from a high three-quarters arm slot. His arm isn’t overly quick, but it is loose and while he has been inconsistent with his velocity, I’ve seen him touch 93 mph. Generally, he works at 89-92 mph, but in a start near the end of the year he sat 86-89 mph. His command of the pitch is below average, but with his delivery and as he gains experience, he should improve in that area. His curveball is the better of his two secondary offerings, flashing deep break and plus potential. He is inconsistent with the pitch and doesn’t always stay in top of it, resulting in it being loose. Buttrey’s 82-86 mph changeup is a work in progress, but has flashed average potential with late drop. Buttrey has the raw skill set that profiles as a workhorse starter, but is a long way from a finished product. He will likely break into full season ball with Greenville, which should provide a good test for him. – Ian Cundall

Photo credits: Jamie Callahan and Ty Buttrey by Kelly O'Connor