Saxon Butler was drafted in the 33rd round of the 2012 MLB Draft and in just his second professional season he has already pushed his way up three levels to High-A Tampa. Last season he hit .273/.345/.533 with 13 home runs as a left-handed hitting first baseman and has hit .247/.322/.390 in 174 plate appearances in Tampa, however he has only hit a total of five home runs on the season so far. I spoke to him about his professional career, covering his play in the field and at the plate.
What is the strongest part of your game?
The strongest part of my game I feel like is the ability to have short term memory and make adjustments as the game goes on and throughout each at-bat.
What are you working to improve most in your second year of professional ball?
The thing I am working on the most is staying in my lower half while hitting and getting my legs involved more.
What is the greatest challenge when moving up from one level to another?
The greatest challenge is adjusting to the pitching and speed of the game.
Do you have an idea of what would make your 2013 season a 'success' or is it more about how you feel rather than any specific numbers?
2013 would be a success if I continue to grow as a hitter and finish the year strong. Numbers wise i'll look at the second half more than the first. It's how you finish, not start.
What is your thought process when you're at the plate? Tell us what you remind yourself to do or look out for.
My thought process is just to keep it simple, not try to do too much. When I stay easy my legs stay under me, when I try to do too much my legs get crazy and all out of sync
What is the most important thing your coaches engrain in you about playing first base?
First base is all about positioning and footwork around the bag. With a righty up i'll play further off the bag and a little up, with lefties I'm back and closer to the line. Then it's just about getting to the bag and being in an athletic position to receive the throw and always being prepared for an errant throw.
Follow Saxon has he looks to have a strong second half of the season and be sure to follow him on Twitter @SaxonHolt33