Alonso High School Pitcher Jordan Butler was masterful on the mound, dropping only one game during the 2016 season. Butler, whose team reached the 9A State Semifinals this year, said he was definitely excited after falling short last year. 

"We lost in the regional semis.  And that was just a heartbreaker for all of us.  So, it was definitely big to get to the state semis this year.”

Another milestone for Butler was the announcement of his selection to the 2016 18U national team’s 40-man roster.  Butler, who went 11-1 for the Ravens and posted a 0.54 ERA this past season, was also chosen for the national teams in 2013 and 2015 that went on to win gold. 

In 2015, Butler helped the national team to its third gold in four years with a strong showing against Japan last summer.  Ravens assistant coach / pitching coach Al Drumheller says Butler is so successful because his IQ is very good on the baseball field. 

"From a pitching perspective, he knows how he wants to attack hitters.  He throws everything for strikes.  I think that’s what makes him very special."

Only 20 players will be selected for the 18U team from the 40-man trial roster. Butler says he hopes that this year, he'll be joined by friend and Steinbrenner pitcher CJ Van Eyk (who also recently received his invitation for the 40-man roster). In the meantime, Butler continues to work on his technique and takes nothing for granted. 

"I'm working on locating my fastball and all my pitches to each side of the plate, and throwing them for strikes.  This way, if I get to a big game this year or maybe next year, I won’t fold or be nervous about it”.

For more on Jordan’s journey to gold, click on the link.