Saturday, March 28, 2015

Collecting the Durham Bulls: Joey Butler

Opening Day is getting close, so I am going to start in on the players who are going to end up starting their summers in Durham playing for the Bulls.  There are some great new players on the roster, so I have been excited about going through my boxes and pulling out cards that are already in my collection and searching Ebay and COMC for the ones that I am missing from my collection.  First up is outfielder Joey Butler.

Butler has appeared in Major League games during both the 2013 and 2014 seasons for the Rangers and Cardinals.  Although the experience amounted to just 14 games and 21 plate appearances, both promotions were well earned through good offensive numbers in Triple A.  The 29 year old, former University of New Orleans player, has posted a .304/.397/.472 line.  Butler has a produced a 20 home run season, stolen 15 bases in a minor league season, and had a 30 double season too.

In some regards his stat lines remind me a little bit of a guy like Justin Ruggiano.  It seems like Joey Butler can do a little bit of everything, but has never put every thing together in one season, and like Ruggiano, been stuck at Triple A behind good Major League depth.

Butler is going to start the season with the Bulls, but could be up quickly if there is an injury or if a young player, like Steven Souza, were to falter.  In my opinion, Butler should be similar to some of the older minor league guys who have rolled through Durham over the years like Chris Richard or Jerry Sands.

The card selection on Joey Butler is limited.  He was a fifteenth round draft pick and never considered a big enough prospect to pick up a card appearance in Bowman, but there are still two good solid cards of the outfielder out there for fans to grab.....

My top choice of Butler cards is from the 2011 Topps Pro Debut set.  This Double A All-Stars card is an insert, but still not too hard of a find, nor expensive.  There are currently none of these on COMC, but a few have sold on EBay with most hanging out below a dollar.  If you are looking for something from a little bit better set Butler did appear in a Topps Heritage set in 2014....

The card is split with Jim Adduci, but adding cards from Topps Heritage is always a good thing for your baseball card collection.  Butler does not have any certified autographs, but there are a good amount of in person autographs listed/sold on Ebay.

Overall, I am looking forward to seeing Butler playing in Durham.  I am not sure that he will be with the team the whole year, but he should be fun to watch during the first few weeks of the season.  Especially at the plate where he could provide some pop along with a few other veteran bats the Bulls will start out with on their roster.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait for Opening Day either! I have been collecting Durham Bulls team sets for a long time (actually the only cards I still collect). Those tough to find late 90s sets are the bane of my existence! Well I know I could find them easily if I wanted to spend the crazy sums of money people are asking for them but the best part about minor league team sets is that you can find em cheap! They aren't much to look at though...