Buttrey enlists 'the Mike Trout of MLB The Show'

April 14th, 2020

ANAHEIM -- Angels reliever is representing the organization in the MLB The Show Players League and said he’s having fun with it, but also trying to take it seriously as a competitor.

Buttrey is an avid gamer but mostly plays Xbox and hadn’t played MLB the Show on PS4 in several years. He still jumped at the opportunity to participate in the Players League and interact with fans. Buttrey has been practicing every day and sports a 1-3 record so far, but believes he’s getting better, as he’s been working with a professional gamer who goes by McGunski to improve his skills.

“You see my record of 1-3, so a little bit of a rust,” Buttrey said Tuesday. “I think it’s a great way to keep fans engaged. And I think players are having fun with it.”

The Players League will be livestreamed on MLB social media accounts (TwitterFacebookYouTubeTwitch), MLB Network's Twitch site, "MLB The Show" social media (TwitterFacebookYouTubeTwitch), the clubs’ social media accounts and MLB.com. Each player will also stream it from their individual Twitch or YouTube accounts.

Buttrey compared his work with McGunksi as working with a trainer or a coach, as he’s given him pointers on how to become better at hitting. Buttrey said he’s too impatient as a hitter and tries to swing at the first pitch too often, so McGunski has helped him overcome that while also explaining better ways to time pitches with a three-click method as the pitcher makes his delivery.

“Angels fans are diehard so even though it’s kind of a joke and a video game, I pride myself and I want to win this,” Buttrey said “But I know my skill level is not going to get it done. So I thought if I wanted to improve as a baseball player, I’d find the best trainer and the best pitching coach. So I asked on my Instagram and asked fans who was really good. And they said McGunski. He has a lot of fans on YouTube and streaming. He’s like the Mike Trout of MLB The Show. He destroys every single baseball.”

In addition to playing in the Players League and practicing with McGunksi, Buttrey is also practicing online with other Angels players such as Noé Ramirez as well as with fans. It’s allowed him to get better at the game while also providing live streams for fans to be able to interact with him. Buttrey said he’s been streaming every night and invited fans to participate in a Home Run Derby with him and individual three-inning practice games.

“I realized that this was a really easy way to get engaged with fans,” Buttrey said. “These fans, they don’t have baseball, so I want to open up a little bit and let them in. I started livestreaming my practices and a lot of people started joining. Playing against the fans to train myself. It’s been a really cool thing I’ve been able to do.”

In addition to gaming, Buttrey has been adhering to a strict routine at his home in Tampa, as he’s been training seven days a week to prepare for whenever the 2020 season will begin. He’s been working individually with his trainer, who has helped him with a few alignment issues that he believes will help him going forward. Buttrey is competitive by nature and wants to make sure he’ll be ready for the season, so it’s not all just video games for the hard-throwing right-hander.

“I feel honestly the best I’ve ever felt mentally and physically,” Buttrey said. “I’m obviously practicing social distancing. But the season hasn’t been canceled. We’re trying to gear up and find a way to play. I’m just trying to capitalize as much as I can during this downtime. If the season starts, I want to be prepared.”