Butler Looking To Slow Things Down

CHARLESTON, SC - Saxon Butler is now playing for his third different team in 2012. His most recent transition was to the Charleston Riverdogs where he is off to a solid start. Prior to being drafted by the Yankees in the 33rd round, Butler played at Samford University where he lead the team in hitting with a .340 average.

His next stop was at short-season Staten Island where he played in 36 games, hit ten home,runs and had an OPS of .990. Butler has met these segues with confidence and has adapted amidst the migration.

"He's picked up where he left off in Staten Island and hopefully he can just keep doing what he's doing," Charleston hitting coach Greg Colbrunn said.

The transition from short-season to single-A can be particularly tough for some players. However, Butler realizes the challenges he faces and is ready for tougher competition and a more strenuous schedule.

"Overall, the competition is better here," Butler said. "The quality of play is better here just because most of these guys have been in the minors for a few years and with short season you get mostly college guys or guys who are just moving up from the Gulf Coast League."

Given these changes, Butler admits that he faced some apprehension. While he feels there is room for improvement, he says he feels comfortable and optimistic.

"I've felt comfortable. Being on a baseball field has always felt natural to me," he said. "My swing is starting to come around now. My first couple games I was grounding out a lot. I was getting my foot down late and having to speed everything else up.

"I've just been working on slowing everything down in the cage and staying focused during batting practice, but I think everything is coming around.

"I just need to slow the game down and let everything come naturally. I was a little anxious after moving up from short season to here. I just need to let my nerves settle a little and then I think I'll be fine."

Although Butler has only been in Charleston for a short time now, he has already left a favorable impression on the coaching staff.

"We've only had him for a short time now, but he looks like he's an aggressive hitter and he puts the ball in play. For right now we just have to watch him and see what he can do, but so far he's been good," Riverdogs' manager Carlos Mendoza said.

"He gets his pitches and puts the ball in play. He's been doing the little things. Right now the main thing is just to concentrate on getting a good pitch to hit."

"He has good impact with his swing and can really hit the ball," Colbrunn added. "We've only seen him in a handful of games so far, but he seems to have a pretty good idea of what he's doing at the plate, he knows the strike zone, and he's hitting the ball hard.

"It's only been 30-40 at bats, but I think he's doing alright. He's fit in nicely around here and doesn't seem to be overmatched. He handles himself well and is putting together some quality at-bats for us."

Butler is certainly a talented hitter, but baseball requires a tough mental approach. As a player continues to improve he can only go as far as his approach will let him, regardless of skill.

Part of this approach includes the acceptance of failure and successfully dealing with it. In theory, Butler understands the necessity for a mental game. However, practicing this theory is far more challenging.

"I just want to go out there and play hard and stay within myself. I just need to control what I can control," said Butler. "Baseball is a game of failure and there are things that are beyond my control. If I focus on what I can control then things should just fall into place."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nHis next stop was at short-season Staten Island where he played in 36 games, hit ten home,runs and had an OPS of .990. Butler has met these segues with confidence and has adapted amidst the migration.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's picked up where he left off in Staten Island and hopefully he can just keep doing what he's doing,\" Charleston hitting coach Greg Colbrunn said.
\r\n
\r\nThe transition from short-season to single-A can be particularly tough for some players. However, Butler realizes the challenges he faces and is ready for tougher competition and a more strenuous schedule.
\r\n
\r\n\"Overall, the competition is better here,\" Butler said. \"The quality of play is better here just because most of these guys have been in the minors for a few years and with short season you get mostly college guys or guys who are just moving up from the Gulf Coast League.\"
\r\n
\r\nGiven these changes, Butler admits that he faced some apprehension. While he feels there is room for improvement, he says he feels comfortable and optimistic.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've felt comfortable. Being on a baseball field has always felt natural to me,\" he said. \"My swing is starting to come around now. My first couple games I was grounding out a lot. I was getting my foot down late and having to speed everything else up.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've just been working on slowing everything down in the cage and staying focused during batting practice, but I think everything is coming around.
\r\n
\r\n\"I just need to slow the game down and let everything come naturally. I was a little anxious after moving up from short season to here. I just need to let my nerves settle a little and then I think I'll be fine.\"
\r\n
\r\nAlthough Butler has only been in Charleston for a short time now, he has already left a favorable impression on the coaching staff.
\r\n
\r\n\"We've only had him for a short time now, but he looks like he's an aggressive hitter and he puts the ball in play. For right now we just have to watch him and see what he can do, but so far he's been good,\" Riverdogs' manager Carlos Mendoza said.
\r\n
\r\n\"He gets his pitches and puts the ball in play. He's been doing the little things. Right now the main thing is just to concentrate on getting a good pitch to hit.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"He has good impact with his swing and can really hit the ball,\" Colbrunn added. \"We've only seen him in a handful of games so far, but he seems to have a pretty good idea of what he's doing at the plate, he knows the strike zone, and he's hitting the ball hard.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's only been 30-40 at bats, but I think he's doing alright. He's fit in nicely around here and doesn't seem to be overmatched. He handles himself well and is putting together some quality at-bats for us.\"
\r\n
\r\nButler is certainly a talented hitter, but baseball requires a tough mental approach. As a player continues to improve he can only go as far as his approach will let him, regardless of skill.
\r\n
\r\nPart of this approach includes the acceptance of failure and successfully dealing with it. In theory, Butler understands the necessity for a mental game. However, practicing this theory is far more challenging.
\r\n
\r\n\"I just want to go out there and play hard and stay within myself. I just need to control what I can control,\" said Butler. \"Baseball is a game of failure and there are things that are beyond my control. If I focus on what I can control then things should just fall into place.\"
\r\n
\r\n

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

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\r\n

\r\n

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