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2021 Angels Player Review: Drew Butera

The seasoned back-up catcher and former World Series champion appeared in just 12 major league games with the Halos before being released

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The thirty-eight year old veteran backup catcher played in just 12 games with the major league club before being DFA’d on May 29th after being traded to the Angels for a second time, this time being by the Texas Rangers for cash. His first stint with the Angels was from December 9, 2014 to May 4, 2015 where he appeared in 10 major league games before being DFA’d. He was then traded to the Royals on May 7, 2015 and spent the year as Salvador Perez’s backup catcher and went on to win the World Series with the team; even catching the final out in the 12th inning of Game 5 after Perez had been lifted for a pinch runner.

Before arriving with the Angels he had bounced around from the Rockies, Phillies, back to the Rockies, and then the Rangers before being traded on May 7, 2021. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 48th round in 2002 amateur draft but opted out and went to UCF, then after playing summer ball for the Orleans Cardinals of Cape Cod Baseball League, he was taken in 5th round of 2005 draft by the Mets and made his professional debut with them.

Butera has several unique aspects to his career, one such distinction being that he is the fifth catcher to catch a no hitter in both the American League (Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano against the White Sox on May 3, 2011) and National League (Dodgers pitcher Josh Becekett against the Phillies on May 25, 2014). Butera also played with the Italian National Baseball Team in the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and 2017. In addition to this, he has pitched scoreless innings in both leagues, though he did not get to pitch during his time with the Angels.

2021 Stats:

12 Games / 32 AB / .094 Avg. / .091 OBP / .125 SLG / .216 OPS / 3 H / 0 HR / 5 RBI / 1 R / 1 2B / 0 3B / 0 BB / 0 SB

Best Performance of the Year:

Butera’s best offensive performance of the year came on May 16th at Boston in a tight 6-5 Angels win. Though he was pulled in the ninth inning for a pinch hitter, he had three at bats and 1 hit, leading to a 2 RBI day. The runs he provided were essential as the Angels barely scraped out a win against the Red Sox. This game was the most RBIs he would accumulate, in a game, during his major league playing time in 2021.

Roster Status:

Butera’s second run with the Angels came to an end on May 29th when he was designated for assignment to make a spot on the roster for Kean Wong. On June 1 it was announced he had cleared the waivers and he was sent to the AAA Salt Lake Bees. On August 31st Butera was released by the Bees and signed as a free agent with the Houston Astros and was assigned to the AAA Sugar Land Skeeters. He spent the rest of the year with them and on November 7 elected free agency and is currently unsigned. With the lockout halting all deals in baseball, his future remains uncertain.

2021 Overall Grade: C-