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Oakland A’s call up another exciting, top hitting prospect

Oakland A’s call up another exciting, top hitting prospect

The MLB-worst A’s turned to their future Friday in another bid to escape their dreary present-day situation, summoning 23-year-old Lawrence Butler, an electric, toolsy outfielder from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Butler, the A’s No. 5-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, will make his Major League debut Friday, playing right field and batting eighth as one of five rookies in Oakland’s lineup against Washington.

The A’s made room on their 26-man roster by placing utility player Tony Kemp on the paternity list.

Totally Law-some night for baseball. pic.twitter.com/z4ONqgfI0Y

— Oakland A’s (@Athletics) August 11, 2023

After Butler opened up eyes with a monstrous performance during spring training (he hit .478 with a 1.425 OPS in 12 spring games), he continued impressing A’s management during the minor league season. The left-handed hitter has slashed .284/.350/.475 with 15 home runs, 70 RBIs and 21 stolen bases in  89 games across Double-A and Triple-A.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Butler was a sixth-round pick from Atlanta’s Westlake High School in 2018.

Butler’s promotion comes after recent callups of catcher Tyler Soderstrom and second baseman Zack Gelof, Oakland’s top two hitting prospects. As the A’s (33-82) look to avoid falling 50 games below .500 Friday night, Soderstrom, Gelof and Butler at least offer hope to the franchise. No matter which city the A’s will be playing in, there are reasons to believe all three could become the next wave of the team’s standout position players.

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While Soderstrom has been up and down, taking a .161 batting average into Friday’s game, Gelof has solidified himself in the middle of the order. His six home runs in 22 games made him the fastest player in Oakland history to reach six home runs. Since making his debut on July 14, Gelof is one of just four players with six homers, six steals and an OPS over .800 (Cody Bellinger of the Cubs, Kyle Tucker of the Astros and Bobby Witt Jr. of the Royals).