Butler Leads The League

STATEN ISLAND, NY - Baby Bomber, Saxon Butler, has been on fire since his minor league start with the Staten Island Yankees. As the Yankees 33rd round pick in this years draft, this 6-foot-2, 239-pound slugger leads the New York-Penn League in home runs, RBI, slugging percentage, and OPS. He holds an impressive team-leading average of .315 as well.

Staten Island Yankees first basemen, Saxon Butler, walked up to the plate five times this past Monday night against the Hudson Valley Renegades, and pushed the Baby Bombers to an early 8-0 lead with three hits, one homer, and 6 RBIs.

Already leading the New York-Penn League in several categories, his performance Monday night separated him even further ahead of the pack and he had a near-repeat performance on Wednesday, smacking his tenth home run and driving in five more runs.

Despite his impressive stats, Butler is modest in his success and gives a lot of credit to his teammates.

"I mean I don't really try to look at all that stuff," Butler said. "I just try to come out here and help the team and everything. If I'm leading the team in those kind of categories it's because the guys in front of me are getting on base and doing their jobs, and I'm just trying to get on base for the guys behind me to drive me in."

Up at bat, Butler claims to block out the fans chanting his name, and focuses simply on hitting the ball, and hitting it hard.

"It feels good just knowing you have support behind you when you come up to bat and everything, but I don't try to listen to all the fans during the game and all that," he admitted. "I try to focus in on the pitchers. Really, just have a quality at-bat, make solid contact and try to hit the ball hard somewhere."

Staten Island Manager, Justin Pope, had much to say of Butlers strengths as a hitter. Above all, he praises the slugger for not losing his focus during the game. While he uses his practice time before each game to improve his mechanics, during the game Butler stays focused on the pitch and getting a hit.

"He's good because he takes each at-bat separately. He doesn't take what he does at bat to the field and vice versa," Pope said. "He works hard. At 2 O'clock, before the game, he does stuff to work on his swing and work on his mechanics. But when the game comes it's just about seeing the ball and getting a good pitch to hit."

Although his season stats don't show it, Butler has gone through some slumps here and there. Before his Monday night show, Butler was suffering a 3-for-24 setback. But between the Staten Island coaching staff and Butler's mechanical training, he's figured out the main problem, and working on fixing it.

"I just got to work on staying down through the ball and not spinning off so much," Butler explained. "When I stay down through the ball is when I hit the ball hard and when I spin off is when I either roll over or get in trouble and strike out sometimes. But as long as I stay down through the ball I feel confident up there and feel good."

"I think he is starting to stay in control more," Pope concurred. "Instead of trying to hit a home run every time up, he is under a little bit more control, he's doing a better job of staying through the ball and going to the opposite field."

Pope didn't know what to expect out of Saxon Butler when he was added to the roster, but he hoped that all the scouting reports were accurate.

"I don't really have any expectations from these guys because you don't know what you're going to get," Pope explained. "You hear when they get drafted, you get scouting reports on them… but when they come here it's a bit different.

"You know, it's pro-ball, they're using a wooden bat, they play every day, travel a little more. So you really don't know what to expect. But I'm not surprised. They said he was a good hitter."

Butler mentioned his transition from college to pro-ball, almost mirroring the exact thoughts of Pope, but overall the transition didn't seem to be difficult for him.

"The game speed is a little quicker than it was in college but you catch on to that pretty quick," Butler said. "And then the wood bats has been a little different. Some balls that fall with the movement don't fall here with the wood. But as long as you stay through the ball, the ball will actually jump and go further with the wood," he described while acting it out with hand motions.

Defensively, Butler is new to his first base position, as he played third in college. But Pope explained that repetition is key, and Butler seems to be faring well in the right infield.

"Defensively I feel like I have a pretty good glove, you know," Butler said. "I haven't been known to make a lot of errors with the glove and everything. But I just try to pick up my infielders if they make a low or high throw and everything. And pick every ball and just be the best I can over there."

Butler's modesty didn't mask his outgoing and goofy personality. Already established as a crowd favorite, while he blocks them out at bat, Butler can be seen laughing with fans at the end of each game. Pope claims that that persona carries into the clubhouse among his teammates as well.

"He loves to talk, he loves to mess around," Pope said laughing. "Which is fine, but I told him, ‘You have to do that all the time. Don't just do that because you're doing good, and if you start to do bad, don't be somebody else.' I give the advice, ‘be yourself, stay yourself', and he's done that. I don't see him changing.

"Its kind fun having him in the clubhouse because he's a little bit of a goofball and he keeps everyone kind of loose. Everybody needs somebody like that on the team," Pope added.

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\r\n \r\n\r\nStaten Island Yankees first basemen, Saxon Butler, walked up to the plate five times this past Monday night against the Hudson Valley Renegades, and pushed the Baby Bombers to an early 8-0 lead with three hits, one homer, and 6 RBIs.
\r\n
\r\nAlready leading the New York-Penn League in several categories, his performance Monday night separated him even further ahead of the pack and he had a near-repeat performance on Wednesday, smacking his tenth home run and driving in five more runs.
\r\n
\r\nDespite his impressive stats, Butler is modest in his success and gives a lot of credit to his teammates.
\r\n
\r\n\"I mean I don't really try to look at all that stuff,\" Butler said. \"I just try to come out here and help the team and everything. If I'm leading the team in those kind of categories it's because the guys in front of me are getting on base and doing their jobs, and I'm just trying to get on base for the guys behind me to drive me in.\"
\r\n
\r\nUp at bat, Butler claims to block out the fans chanting his name, and focuses simply on hitting the ball, and hitting it hard.
\r\n
\r\n\"It feels good just knowing you have support behind you when you come up to bat and everything, but I don't try to listen to all the fans during the game and all that,\" he admitted. \"I try to focus in on the pitchers. Really, just have a quality at-bat, make solid contact and try to hit the ball hard somewhere.\"
\r\n
\r\nStaten Island Manager, Justin Pope, had much to say of Butlers strengths as a hitter. Above all, he praises the slugger for not losing his focus during the game. While he uses his practice time before each game to improve his mechanics, during the game Butler stays focused on the pitch and getting a hit.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's good because he takes each at-bat separately. He doesn't take what he does at bat to the field and vice versa,\" Pope said. \"He works hard. At 2 O'clock, before the game, he does stuff to work on his swing and work on his mechanics. But when the game comes it's just about seeing the ball and getting a good pitch to hit.\"
\r\n
\r\nAlthough his season stats don't show it, Butler has gone through some slumps here and there. Before his Monday night show, Butler was suffering a 3-for-24 setback. But between the Staten Island coaching staff and Butler's mechanical training, he's figured out the main problem, and working on fixing it.
\r\n
\r\n\"I just got to work on staying down through the ball and not spinning off so much,\" Butler explained. \"When I stay down through the ball is when I hit the ball hard and when I spin off is when I either roll over or get in trouble and strike out sometimes. But as long as I stay down through the ball I feel confident up there and feel good.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I think he is starting to stay in control more,\" Pope concurred. \"Instead of trying to hit a home run every time up, he is under a little bit more control, he's doing a better job of staying through the ball and going to the opposite field.\"
\r\n
\r\nPope didn't know what to expect out of Saxon Butler when he was added to the roster, but he hoped that all the scouting reports were accurate.
\r\n
\r\n\"I don't really have any expectations from these guys because you don't know what you're going to get,\" Pope explained. \"You hear when they get drafted, you get scouting reports on them… but when they come here it's a bit different.
\r\n
\r\n\"You know, it's pro-ball, they're using a wooden bat, they play every day, travel a little more. So you really don't know what to expect. But I'm not surprised. They said he was a good hitter.\"
\r\n
\r\nButler mentioned his transition from college to pro-ball, almost mirroring the exact thoughts of Pope, but overall the transition didn't seem to be difficult for him.
\r\n
\r\n\"The game speed is a little quicker than it was in college but you catch on to that pretty quick,\" Butler said. \"And then the wood bats has been a little different. Some balls that fall with the movement don't fall here with the wood. But as long as you stay through the ball, the ball will actually jump and go further with the wood,\" he described while acting it out with hand motions.
\r\n
\r\nDefensively, Butler is new to his first base position, as he played third in college. But Pope explained that repetition is key, and Butler seems to be faring well in the right infield.
\r\n
\r\n\"Defensively I feel like I have a pretty good glove, you know,\" Butler said. \"I haven't been known to make a lot of errors with the glove and everything. But I just try to pick up my infielders if they make a low or high throw and everything. And pick every ball and just be the best I can over there.\"
\r\n
\r\nButler's modesty didn't mask his outgoing and goofy personality. Already established as a crowd favorite, while he blocks them out at bat, Butler can be seen laughing with fans at the end of each game. Pope claims that that persona carries into the clubhouse among his teammates as well.
\r\n
\r\n\"He loves to talk, he loves to mess around,\" Pope said laughing. \"Which is fine, but I told him, ‘You have to do that all the time. Don't just do that because you're doing good, and if you start to do bad, don't be somebody else.' I give the advice, ‘be yourself, stay yourself', and he's done that. I don't see him changing.
\r\n
\r\n\"Its kind fun having him in the clubhouse because he's a little bit of a goofball and he keeps everyone kind of loose. Everybody needs somebody like that on the team,\" Pope added.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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