North Carolina features strong prep arms 

May, 11, 2012

Charlotte-area Providence (N.C.) High School righty Ty Buttrey was garnering heavy attention early in the year when he hit 96 mph with a knockout curveball and a parade of crosscheckers attending his starts. Buttrey ranks 34th on Keith Law's recent top 100 but it wouldn't surprise me if he snuck into the first round once you combine what I saw out of Buttrey with what he showed in earlier outings.

Buttrey stands a long, projectable 6-foot-5, 205 pounds with a quick delivery -- quick in its tempo and also in frequency as Buttrey is known for finishing complete games in well under two hours. His arm action and delivery are clean while his size and high three-quarter arm angle helps him get downward plane on his pitches.

I saw Buttrey work 89-92 hitting 93 mph whereas early in the year he was 92-94 hitting 96 regularly. There isn't a clear explanation for this drop-off, which doesn't mean it isn't coming back and many scouts assume it will. Buttrey showed an inconsistent 75-78 mph 12-to-6 downer curveball with above-average potential that many scouts said will flash plus with better feel in other outings. His most dependable secondary pitch was an 81-84 mph changeup that Buttrey pulls the string on with late dive and good deception. He wasn't throwing this pitch much early in the year, but it was consistently above-average for me and there's a chance it will be plus as well.

Buttrey's command wavered some when I saw him but he just lost his mechanics temporarily, flying open for an inning or two, regaining his touch later. It's worth noting Buttrey is a year older than many seniors as a 19-year-old that will be draft eligible as a sophomore if he makes it to campus at Arkansas. As a big, physical right hander with some polish and a non-zero chance for three plus pitches, Buttrey is an attractive upside play (Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers was at this start) that could sneak in the first round but some scouts will have trouble arguing for an older guy whose velocity has been down recently.