With the MVP Award set to be given out tonight by Major League Baseball, today is a great time to hand out my KC Royals Player of the Year Award.
The Royals Minor League Player of the Year was a no-brainer, as the outfielder has been racking up all kinds of awards. I’ll get to him later on in my awards coverage.
At the big league level, the Player of the Year was a tougher choice. I had it down to an outfielder and a DH.
I decided to go with the DH, Billy Butler. It seemed appropriate considering he was the lone Royals representative at the All-Star Game and that he should garner some votes tonight for the American League MVP.
Butler put up offensive numbers similar to every other season he has been in the big leagues. However, in 2012, the power finally broke out.
He hit .313, which was tied for sixth in the AL. He played in 161 games and scored 72 runs. Butler hit 29 homeruns and drove in 107, both were career highs. His RBI total was sixth in the AL. He also hit 32 doubles, had an on-base percentage of .373, and a slugging percentage of .510.
Those numbers finally made him an All-Star, as he represented the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Unfortunately, he wasn’t asked to participate in the HR Derby and the hometown fans were not thrilled about that.
Butler even got a chance to play more first base, and not just during Interleague Play. With the struggles (and then injury) of Eric Hosmer, Butler played twenty games at first base (he did make three errors).
The Kansas City BBWAA also honored Butler as their Player of the Year. But really, all he wants is to play on a winning team.