Joseph Frank Butler, Jr.
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight' 220 lb.
- School University of New Orleans, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
- High School Pascagoula High School
- Debut August 7, 2013
- Final Game October 4, 2015
- Born March 12, 1986 in Pascagoula, MS USA
Joey Butler played parts of three seasons in the big leagues.
Joey hit .340/.385/.479 with 48 runs scored and 16 steals in 56 games for the University of New Orleans in 2007, transferring from junior college. As a senior, he batted .345/.416/.592 with 77 runs scored and 58 RBI in 63 contests. He tied T.J. Baxter for second in the Sun Belt in runs scored, tied for 5th with 21 doubles, was 6th with 158 total bases and ranked second with six triples. The Texas Rangers, behind scout Randy Taylor, took him in the 15th round of the 2008 amateur draft. Joey made his pro debut with the Spokane Indians that summer and hit .301/.417/.434 with 35 runs scored and 31 RBI in 62 games. He then went 6 for 15 in the playoffs to help his team to the Northwest League title. He finished among the NWL leaders in average (7th), hits (68, tied for 4th with Jeremy Barfield and Marwin Gonzalez), OBP (6th) and walks (40, tied for 4th with Jose Flores). In 2009, Butler produced at a .280/.343/.416 clip with 33 doubles and 82 runs scored for the Bakersfield Blaze, but only drew 6 more walks despite 72 more games. He hit .226 in the playoffs and tied for 9th in the California League in doubles and tied Nick Noonan and Trayvon Robinson for 12th in runs scored.
Butler hit .277/.340/.409 for the 2010 Frisco RoughRiders, legging out 6 triples. He tied Daryl Jones and Paulo Orlando for 9th in the Texas League in three-baggers but led the TL with 21 double-play grounders (4 ahead of runner-up, and former college teammate, Johnny Giavotella). He followed with a .228/.286/.404 season for the Surprise Rafters in the Arizona Fall League. He began 2011 with Frisco (.227/.382/.386 in 13 games) but quickly moved up to the Round Rock Express, where he hit .322/.388/.493 in 113 games. He was 9th in the 2011 PCL in average (between Clint Robinson and Johan Limonta), joining Collin Cowgill and Jai Miller as the PCL All-Star outfielders. The Mississippi native repeated with Round Rock in 2012 and again had a big year (.290/.392/.473, 79 walks, 28 doubles, 20 home runs, 93 runs scored). He tied Robinson for 2nd in the 2012 PCL in walks (behind Michael Taylor), was 4th in runs scored (between Jake Elmore and Jimmy Paredes), tied for 11th in dingers, was third in outfield fielding percentage (.996) and tied for 5th in outfield assists (12). In the 2012 AAA All-Star Game, he replaced Wil Myers in the lineup and Kole Calhoun in right field (Calhoun moved to left field to take Myers' spot). Butler struck out against Juan Cedeno in his lone at-bat in the PCL's 3-0 win over the IL. He spent the winter with the Mazatlan Deer, hitting just .207/.330/.299 in the Mexican Pacific League.
Joey was having a third straight solid season for the Express (.290/.375/.437, 54 runs scored after 97 games) in 2013 when he was called up after Nelson Cruz was suspended for 50 games for his involvement in the Biogenesis Laboratories scandal. In his major league debut for the Rangers on August 7th, he pinch-hit for Leonys Martin in the 9th inning of a 10-3 romp over the Angels. Facing Nick Maronde, he lined out to Grant Green. He appeared in 8 games at the big league level, going 4-for-12 with a pair of doubles. He was placed on waivers after the season and picked up by the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2014, he started the season in the minors with the Memphis Redbirds, where he hit .360 in 31 games. He was also with the Cardinals for a week, going 0-for-5, and was released on May 23rd. He joined the Orix Buffaloes of Japan's Pacific League, hitting .231 in 21 games with 2 homers and 6 RBI. He then signed with the Tampa Bay Rays as a free agent in January 2015 and began the year back in AAA with the Durham Bulls. He hit .317 in 21 games, then was called up to Tampa Bay and received his first extended opportunity to play at the major league level. On July 1st, he broke up a no-hit bid by Carlos Carrasco of the Cleveland Indians with two outs and two strikes in the 9th inning when he lined a pitch over second baseman Jason Kipnis' head, driving in Asdrubal Cabrera, who had reached via walk, from second base. The Rays still lost the game, 8-1. Joey finished his big league career with 102 games over three seasons, hitting .274/.330/.412 with 8 home runs and 31 RBI.