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Vic Buttler

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Victor Scott Buttler

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Outfielder Vic Buttler was picked by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 14th round of the 2000 amateur draft out of junior college. He hit .133/.188/.133 in 4 games with the GCL Pirates and .298/.383/.374 with the Williamsport Crosscutters, going 9 for 9 in steals. Vic then began a run of two-year stays with different teams. He hit .244/.287/.311 for the '01 Hickory Crawdads and .285/.353/.376 the next year, swiping 30 in 41 tries. He led the South Atlantic League with 20 sacrifice hits and made the SAL All-Star team.

In 2003, Vic had a .285/.360/.382 line for the Lynchburg Hillcats and stole 22 of 27 and finished 9th in the Carolina League in average. He hit .241/.286/.372 in a disappointing second year with Lynchburg, but this time he moved up the ladder.

Buttler hit .313/.394/.373 for the 2005 Altoona Curve and was one of the top OBP players in the Eastern League but was sent down when Rich Thompson was sent down from Indianapolis and prospects Rajai Davis, Jorge Cortes and Ray Sadler also needed playing time in the crowded outfield. Back in Lynchburg, Vic batted .333/.362/.481 in 57 games and would have been second in the Carolina League in average had he played enough to qualify. He also hit .207/.247/.228 in 25 games back with Hickory.

Vic began 2006 back in Altoona and hit .292/.345/.445 with an Eastern League-leading 14 triples (four more than Trent Oeltjen while stealing 21 in 24 tries. He was called up to the Indianapolis Indians when Davis was called up to the majors and hit .316/.380/.386 in 20 games in AAA though he was just 7 of 11 in steals. His 15 overall triples tied Brooks Conrad for second in all the minors.

Buttler spent most of 2007 with the Curve again. He hit .274 with 3 homers, 24 RBIs, and 22 stolen bases in 74 games despite missing two months with a hamstring injury. Coming back from the injury, he made 6 appearances with the GCL Pirates.

Primary Sources: 2001-2006 Baseball Almanacs

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