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Billy Butler burned his fanboys last year, after a strong campaign in 2012.  I know everyone around here lovingly (or maybe bitterly) calls him “Moobs”, but that probably hurts his feelings… I bet that’s why he started out so slow this year.

I am tweaking the categories a bit this time, because this methodology is still a work in progress.  Here are some quick notes on my patent-pending Jer-o-matic (not geriatric…but similar) system:

  1. For the injury risk category, a higher score means a player is less likely to miss time
  2. For the production category, a score of 50% means repeating last year’s production
    1. Scores about 50% are better than the previous year
    2. Scores below 50% are worse than the previous year
  3. A total score of 10 out of 20 is considered repeating last year’s performance
    1. Scores about this are better than the previous year
    2. Scores below this are worse than the previous year

Category One: Injury Risk

If there is one thing that everyone can agree on about Country Breakfast, it’s that he is built like a rock.  He hasn’t played in fewer than 158 games in his last five seasons.  And in his two seasons before that, he only missed time because he was in AAA.  He is also a DH, so the wear and tear on his body is already lower than the average player.  He had a couple of missed games here and there, but everyone gets that (except Maddy Bum).  The Royals don’t have anyone nipping at Butler’s heels to take his DH spot permanently, so the Royals are likely to stick with him through thick and thin.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

Category Two: Everything Else

Moobs truly had a Tale of Two Seasons between 2012 and 2013.  He had a career year in 2012, followed by a career worst year in 2013.  Here’s what he did:

  PA H R HR RBI AVG OPS BABIP BB% HR/FB
2012 679 192 72 29 107 0.313 0.882 0.341 8.0% 19.9%
2013 668 168 62 15 82 0.289 0.787 0.326 11.8% 11.7%
Career N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.297 0.818 0.325 9.2% 11.3%

The differences are pretty large here.  On the plus side, Billy walked more, which helps greatly in OBP leagues (career 0.363 OBP).  His walk rate has slowly trended up throughout his career, so I don’t have much reason to believe Butler will fall below a 10% BB%.  But Moobs barely hit half as many homers in 2013 as he did the year before.  This is due largely to his HR/FB rate falling back down to his career level of 11.3%.  I think he can hit 20 bombs again, although I do have one qualm: his fly ball rate.  Here are Billy’s line drive, ground ball, and fly ball rates throughout his career:


I have no idea what happened between 2012 and 2013, but Billy stopped hitting fly balls and started hitting grounders.  This isn’t a great sign since Moobs would have trouble beating a turtle in a race.  Obviously the data from this year has to be taken with a grain of salt because the dataset is smaller, and we all know Billy has been slumping.  But I’m still surprised that Butler hit 29 bombs even when his fly ball rate when down.

As for his current average, it is sitting (un)pretty at 0.213, which is 0.084 below his career number.  Also, Butler’s BABIP is sitting at 0.255, which is 0.070 below his career norm.  His worst BABIP over a season is 0.294, so I expect him to rebound greatly in that department.

Next up for Billy B. are his pitching splits.  Here is a chart of his average against various pitches:

  2011 2012 2013 2014 Career
Change 0.277 0.229 0.291 0.250 0.258
Curve 0.216 0.219 0.250 0.250 0.266
Cutter 0.229 0.380 0.256 0.333 0.285
Fourseam 0.337 0.376 0.283 0.262 0.326
Sinker 0.345 0.342 0.375 0.333 0.324
Slider 0.179 0.294 0.207 0.118 0.238

You can see that during his 2012 surge, Moobs learned how to hit cutters and sliders.  His average against both pitches surged by over 0.100.  Then in 2013, he quickly forgot how to hit both of those, as well as the fourseam.  This year, his biggest issues are the slider and fourseam.  Butler should see some regression towards his career averages with these pitches, especially the dismal slider.

One final note on Billy Butler is that he has a history of being a slow starter.  I’ve only used one visual so far, and you guys know how much I like graphs!  Here is a breakdown I like to call “Moobs by Month”:

Quick note: Butler’s counting stats are lower in June because he spent some extra time in AAA during his first two seasons.  As you can see, most of these stats trend upwards.  This is just another reason I believe Butler is a big rebound candidate.

I know that I have mentioned a lot of “what-ifs” throughout this, but I have faith in Country Breakfast.  I think Billy is in line for a season between his 2012 and 2013 campaigns.  A solid buy-low candidate for sure.

Score: 8 out of 15

Overall Score: 12.5 out of 20

Weighted Score: 125%

Believe in the Moobs.

Jeremy is a contributor for Razzball Baseball. He had a last name, but he lost it in ‘Nam.  You can follow the soldier of misfortune on twitter @Jeremy_Razzball, just don’t trigger his flashbacks.

  1. Moronymous Lohse says:
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    Thanks for this information, Jeremy. Good job. I’ve always liked Butler and hope the kid turns it around.

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
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      @Moronymous Lohse: They say Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

  2. gareth says:
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    Hey Jeremy,

    Someone dropped butler in my rcl league the other day and hes now on waivers until Thursday.. I’d pick him up in a heartbeat, but I already have another DH only guy (Victor Martinez) clogging up the utility spot.

    I have an open roster spot due to chris sale going on the dl so I wouldn’t be dropping anyone for him.

    What would be the best course of action?

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
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      @gareth: No reason to ride an empty slot when you have unlimited moves. I’ve never been one to hold onto good waiver positions, so I’d take him. Try to trade V-Mart, who has a higher market value right now.

      And maybe my next article will be “Too Many Hicks on the Dance Floor”

      • gareth says:
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        @Jeremy: ok thanks Jeremy!

  3. gareth says:
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    Nice flight of the concords link by the way. Those guys are awesome.

  4. Toe Knee Arm Ass says:
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    I’m in an expensive shallow league. Butler been on my bench all season. This the first time I have heard anything good about Buttler all year.

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
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      @Toe Knee Arm Ass: He is warming up: .333 avg and .400 obp over the past week.

  5. malamoney

    malamoney says:
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    Billy “up your” Butler sucks.

    Love Smashing Pumpkins though!

    • Gene Parmesan says:
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      @malamoney: I like Smashing Pumpkins as well. Wish you were in my league.

  6. Joe G says:
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    Jeremy would you trade wilin Rosario and tony cingrani for jean segura?

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
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      @Joe G: Probably not. Not huge on Segura this year. Try getting Andrus instead.

      • Joe G says:
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        @Jeremy: damn i already made the trade jajaja i gonna try to trade him for an ace

      • Papajeansegura says:
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        @Jeremy: So would you do Segura for Andrus?

        • Jeremy

          Jeremy says:
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          @Papajeansegura: If I get Andrus, hell yes. Better track record for basically the same player.

  7. malamoney

    malamoney says:
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    Would you trade Salazar and Springer to get Cain?

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
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      @malamoney: Keeper or not? Actually doesn’t matter, don’t do it.

  8. Gene Parmesan says:
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    Although I disagreed with your assessment on Starling Marte, I do love the article (especially your visuals such as “Moobs by Month”) and think you’re dead on with regards to Billy Butler in 2014. He dropped in my draft due to his position eligibility, or lack there of, but I took him in the 13th round and he’s marooned in my utility spot. Yes, he’s disappointed so far, but as you alluded to he’s been hitting much better over the last week and he’s perennially solid (e.g., hitting between .289 and .318 over the last five years). He had an aberration in power during 2012 hitting 29 HR’s, which I don’t think will ever be matched again, but he’s solid. I agree with the 12.5 rating and definitely think he’s a buy-low candidate + he has his own BBQ sauce! Great stuff Jeremy.

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
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      @Gene Parmesan: 1 for 2 on blessings from the Parmesan…I’ll take it. I made a terrible trade with Butler last year, but I’m still optimistic. Dude isn’t even 30 yet.

  9. and1mcgee says:
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    is clay buchholz droppable or worth picking up? 12 team h2h …….. Is he going to right the ship or head for the Disgraceful List?

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
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      @and1mcgee: Drop him. Eww.

  10. SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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    thanks for the write up Jeremy! what would you guess Butler’s final numbers look like?

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
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      @SheriffMcRawDawg: No problem! I want to say:

      82/18/90/.295/.380 (avg/obp)

      • SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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        @Jeremy: cool thanks!

      • SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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        @Jeremy: also, curious who you like out of the following – need K’s & W’s due to some injuries (pick 3 maybe? deep 10-team roto):
        Weaver, Burnett, Garza, Buchholz, Kennedy, Porcello, Eovaldi, Hutchison

        thanks!

        • Jeremy

          Jeremy says:
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          @SheriffMcRawDawg: In no order:

          Burnett, Garza, Porcello

          Eovaldi and Hutchison if those don’t pan out.

          • SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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            @Jeremy: cheers

  11. DMurph says:
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    Great article. Someone just dropped him in my league and I bid $25 to pick him up. I went high since it was a blind bid and I always end up with money left. I figure he’s a proven hitter and will come around soon. That KC lineup seems like it could come together and be very good.

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
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      @DMurph: Thanks. $25 is pretty steep. Try $10.

  12. ryan says:
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    10 team H2H league

    Colabello is still out there. Would you drop Adam Eaton for him?

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
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      @ryan: I like Eaton more. Colabello is hot now, but Eaton’s better in the long run.

  13. Ry says:
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    Hey Jeremy, great article I’ve been looking at Butler for a few weeks now, since he was dropped to waivers. The big hold back for me is I have no where to put him. I’ve got Pujols as my utility and Goldy at first, My bench consists of Frazier Morse/Brantley whoever is playing better Altuve because I put Lowrie in this week and Eovaldi. I’m not sure if I should pick up Butler even though I want to because I believe he will heat up eventually, but I’m not sure if he’s worth dropping any of these guys since they’ve all been fairly solid. Thanks.

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
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      @Ry: Thanks! I hope you haven’t been benching Morse and Brantley recently. I’d rather have Billy over Frazier, unless you need the backup 3B.

      • Ry says:
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        @Jeremy: I’ve been swapping morse and brantley depending on who’s hotter, theyve both been good though. The only reason I’ve been holding Frazier is because of Longoria’s iffy injury history, he’s my starter and I wanted to hedge my bets but maybe I shouldn’t be thinking that way…Thanks for responding

  14. Rudy says:
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    Here is a tough one, I have to drop one. Starlin Castro or Billy Butler? I have Matt Adams and Everth Cabrera…or do I drop Cabrera? So confused!

    • Jeremy

      Jeremy says:
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      @Rudy: How many teams are in this league that these are your drop options?

  15. Russ says:
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    Great write up on Butler. I have been looking to obtain more detailed stats like this for a while and was wondering where you found his averages for the pitching splits. Thanks

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