After finally giving up a run in his 12th game of the season, Ty Buttrey finished his night with 2.2 IP, 3 SOs 0 BB, and 2 Hs which raised his ERA to 0.75. It is time to tell the world of an elite, power reliever. Ty Buttrey, the beloved reliever of the Angels, made his major league debut last season after being acquired in a tradefrom the Boston Red Sox along with Williams Jerez. Since his call up on August 1, Buttrey (buh-TREE) impressed the Angels FO in 2018 with a 3.31 ERA, 1.65 FIP, 1.224 WHIP and an 11.0 K/9 (28.6 K%) To start 2019, the Angels have now deployed them as their high leverage super reliever; his usage only comes in “clutch” situations at any point in the game, similar to 2016-2017 Andrew Miller or Josh Hader last season. Prior to April 24th’s game, Buttrey had pitched in 11 games on the young season, and had yet to give up a run while sporting a 12.5 K/9 (33.3% K%). He has seen a bump in his fastball velocity from a 95.3 MPH in 2018 to 96.3 in 2019, and his electric fastball has averaged 2,206 RPM throughout his short career. He uses it 56% of the time as shown here:
His second most used pitch is his slider at 32.1%. His slider is arguably now his most intriguing pitch. As a prospect it was his worst rated pitch; however, since joining the Angels he saw the usage (+6%) of it soar upwards and a 22% swinging strike rate rise to a 35%. If these trends keep up he will have continued success. And when pitchingninja highlights it on twitter, the pitch just has to be filthy.
His changeup is his last primary pitch, and while it was glorified as a prospect, the Angels have had him lower his usage with it, from 16% in 2018 to only 10% in 2019 in favor of his slider. They may have noticed his swinging strike % drop drastically with the pitch from 30% to a mere 16%, but the sample size is still small. When his change is on point, he is on the highest tiers of relievers.
Buttrey does also have a sinker, which he throws 3.1% of the time, however the Angels pitchers as a whole have used their sinkers less this season. Buttrey may not be a great fantasy pickup just yet as his save opportunities are low. But in an era where the “traditional closer” is being done away, look for Buttrey’s name as the forefront of a superb Angels bullpen.