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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 73: Cameron Butler

A rough adjustment to pro ball should not deter this all-everything Californian.

The White Sox were giddy to grab super prep Cameron Butler in the 15th round of the 2021 draft.

Cameron Butler

Center Fielder
175 pounds
Age: 19
SSS rank among all center fielders in the system: 4

One can say that “Cam” Butler did OK for his Big Valley Christian High team in Modesto, Calif. — and say with a smirk of understatement. All Butler did in his senior season was hit .771 while knocking in a whopping 61 runs on his way to winning to winning both the Perfect Game and Prep Baseball Player of the Year awards for California. Quite an impressive feat, playing in one of the biggest prep hotbeds in the country.

Whether it was due to his commitment to in-state Cal Poly, or whether it was because teams didn’t feel he was quite ready for professional ball, Butler slid to the 15th round of the 2021 MLB draft. The White Sox were ecstatic to select him, and eventually signed him to an over-slot $150,000 bonus.

At the time of his selection, Prep Baseball Report compared Butler to long-time major leaguer Peter Bourjos. This is what their area scout Steve Doherty said of him: “Butler is an elite overall athlete showing speed, some pop in the bat, and above average defensive skills from both the outfield and shortstop positions. In my opinion Butler is the quintessential ‘Modern Ball-Player,’ a Swiss Army knife so to speak; hyper-athletic, can play multiple positions, and is a football and basketball player. If you asked him to pitch and catch, he could probably do that at a high level too, he can do it all. The Oakland A’s 2020 Area Code Team selection confirms what we already know, he’s a good baseball player.” PBR timed Butler at 6.65 in the 60-yard dash, 4.37 seconds from home to first, and a 102 maximum exit velocity during one of their showcases.

Unsurprisingly, playing professional ball is a huge adjustment, and this was the case for Butler in 2021. In 18 games totaling 59 plate appearances, he slashed just .083/.254/.125 with two doubles, one stolen base, 11 walks (18.6%), 27 strikeouts (45.8%) and a 23 wRC+. On the positive side, Butler saw of plenty of pitches, as evidenced by his extremely high walk and strikeout rates. Defensively, he played well in center and left and at second base, with his only two errors coming during a brief, 13-inning stint at right field. Highly recognized as a gym rat, no doubt Butler’s struggles in Arizona this year will give him the impetus to train and work on his pitch-recognition skills. Due to his age (he was 1.8 years younger than the competition this year), expect Butler to return to the ACL to begin the 2022 season.

2022 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

73. Cameron Butler, CF
74. Godwin Bennett, RF
75. Logan Glass, CF
76. Dario Borrero, 1B
77. Craig Dedelow, RF
78. Carlos Hinestroza, RHRP
79. Gunnar Troutwine, C
80. Kade Mechals, RHSP
81: Caberea Weaver, CF
82. Layant Tapia, SS
83. Homer Cruz, RHRP
84. Kaleb Roper, RHSP
85. Jerry Burke, RHSP
86. Emerson Talavera, RHRP
87. Isaiah Carranza, RHSP
88. Davis Martin, RHSP
89. Tyler Osik, 1B
90. Samil Polanco, 3B
91. Manuel Veloz, RHRP
92. Pauly Milto, RHRP
93. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
94. Colby Smelley, C
95. Manuel Guariman, C
96. Everhett Hazelwood, RHRP
97. Garrett Schoenle, LHRP
98. Kyle Kubat, LHRP
99. Anderson Comas, RF
100. Jake Elliott, RHRP