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The huddle

July 23, 2015

Oakland MLB Draft Pick Brendan Butler

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A former standout pitcher at Sayville High School, Brendan committed to Fairleigh Dickinson University to play Division I baseball. After three years at FDU, he transferred to a Division 2 school, Dowling College. Following his senior year at Dowling, Brendan was drafted in the 2015 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics.

Looking back to high school, what were you looking for in a college baseball program?

I was looking for a program with experienced coaching, a winning atmosphere and a chance to have an impact on the field right away where I could play and get some innings on the mound. I really wanted to play and not sit and waste any of my years of eligibility.

Was it important to you to go D1?

In high school it was important for me to go D1 because of what it holds as a meaning. It is higher than every level and I wanted that title with my name. But looking back now I would have done it differently and not made a decision based on the school name or level of play.

What was the major reason for your transfer?

I transferred because I wanted more hands on coaching. I had the talent and ability but I wanted a school that would help me put it all together in my outings rather than show flashes of it and struggle with consistency. I needed a more laid back setting with a staff that knew failing is a part of the game of baseball and instead of getting on you because you failed, their main concern was to help you succeed.

How was your athletic experience at FDU different than at Dowling?

I think my experience was great. I had great teammates at both schools that I made good friendships with that I miss a lot, but Dowling was more laid back. The only thing I missed out on this year at Dowling was being a resident at the school. I didn’t enjoy commuting especially not being able to hang out with the guys every night in a house or dorms.

Was there a major competitive drop off between DI and DII?

I don’t think the drop off is much different from the DI school I was at to the DII. If you have the right coaching you can play great baseball. At Dowling, we played some good teams this year and won some good games. We had very talented players. Obviously you’re going to face some power-house schools in DI that you wouldn’t at a DII but honestly the drop off was little to none compared to my DI experience.

To kids looking to go pro, does the division of the college they attend matter?

I don’t think division matters if you want to play pro ball. If you’re good enough the scouts will find you. This draft in 2015 I saw kids on the Long Island get drafted from a DI and DII and DIII. I also know kids who get drafted from Junior Colleges and NAIA’s.

Looking back to high school, if Locker Room Talk was around would you have used it?

If LRT was around during my recruiting times in high school I would absolutely have used it. I use this format when picking classes and professors because I trust what people say after going through something and sharing their experiences.

YOUR JOURNEY STARTS HERE