Billy Butler: What Is All The Excitement Over?
There was a big controversy in Kansas City during the All-Star Break. During the Home Run Derby, American League team captain Robinson Cano, who was in charge of picking hitters for the AL Home Run Derby team, got vociferously booed. The Kansas City fans were so loud in their booing of Cano that it made national news.
So why did the Royals fans voice such displeasure with Cano? Because he originally promised to pick Kansas City star Billy Butler for his team. Butler, the DH for the Royals, is a cult hero in town. However, Cano was unable to keep his promise, as Butler was not originally picked to the All-Star team (he was added later on) and Cano was limited to All-Star team members. However, the local fans did not quite understand the subtleties involved with that, and just took it out on Cano. There is now talk of changing the rules to the Home Run Derby to guarantee a hometown player on the teams. It’s pretty strange for an exhibition game to have turned into this brouhaha.
So who is Billy Butler, and why has he become such a fan favorite? Well, Butler is the designated hitter for the Royals. He is 26 years old, and at press time he is hitting .310, with 27 home runs and 95 RBIs, which means that he could end up with a 300+ batting average season, with 30 homers and 100 RBI if he continues on that pace through the end of the season. Those numbers put him as one of the top DHs in baseball. Butler is also a homegrown player, having been drafted by Kansas City in 2004. His nickname is “Country Breakfast.”
He has been in the major leagues since 2007, but this is the year when he is coming into his own, having an All-Star caliber season. He should surpass his career high of 21 home runs in a year this season, as long as he stays healthy.
Butler’s a keeper
So is Butler somebody you should think of hanging onto as a keeper for your fantasy baseball keeper league? Absolutely. He has a bright future ahead of him, and is one of the more exciting players in the game. He is also giving Kansas City fans a reason to hope for the future. He recently reached the 100-homer milestone in his career and should be hitting more of them for years to come.
Lisa Swan writes for a variety of sports sites, including DraftStreet.com.