Italy catcher Butera familiar with Puerto Rico

Italy catcher Butera familiar with Puerto Rico

MIAMI -- On the international baseball stage, Team Italy catcher Drew Butera is no stranger to Puerto Rico.

Butera, a member of the Twins, in the past has played winter ball in Puerto Rico.

On Wednesday night, Butera was behind the plate for Italy against Puerto Rico in a World Baseball Classic elimination game at Marlins Park.

The styles of play in Puerto Rico and Italy are a bit different, the 29-year-old catcher said.

"I've come to know that Latin baseball is a little more aggressive as far as being at the plate and possibly taking some bases, stealing bases here and there," Butera said. "When I played in Puerto Rico and this past year in the Dominican, it was very much like a party, like a fiesta.

"I had a great time, but the games took five-and-a-half, six hours, which is OK."

He added, he noticed hitters in Puerto Rico were more aggressive early in counts. In Italy and in the United States, Butera noted players worked deeper counts.

"That's how American-style play is, take some pitches, get deep into the counts," he said. "Whereas, Latin American baseball, if I'm seeing it, I'm swinging at it."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter