Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending July 29th. This is Billy’s fourth career weekly honor, last accomplishing the feat on August 1, 2011. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
In a seven-game West Coast trip, Butler batted .458 (11-for-24) with three doubles, one home run, five walks, six RBI and four runs scored. Among A.L. leaders for the week, Butler was first in on-base percentage (.552), tied for first in hits, tied for second in batting average and doubles, tied for third in walks and total bases (17) and tied for fourth in slugging percentage (.708).
On Wednesday, the 2012 A.L. All-Star delivered a two-run homer and a run-scoring single in a losing effort at Angel Stadium. Butler’s fifth-inning blast off Jered Weaver was his 20th of the season, one shy of tying his career high set in 2009. In Thursday’s series-opener against Seattle at Safeco Field, the 26-year-old doubled twice and added a walk in four plate appearances as the Mariners topped the Royals. Butler’s two doubles were the only hits registered by Kansas City, with his first two-bagger marking the 200th of his six-year career. He became just the eighth player in franchise history to reach the milestone. The Florida native has 16 doubles this season, giving him 156 since 2009 – the second most in the A.L. over that stretch trailing only Robinson Cano (164) of the Yankees. Butler has registered at least 22 doubles in each of his first five seasons in the Majors, including a career-best 51 doubles in 2009. In Saturday’s tilt with the Mariners, the Royals’ first round pick (14th overall) in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft out of Wolfson High School in Jacksonville singled three times, marking his fourth consecutive multi-hit game, which tied a season high. In the fourgame set with the Mariners, the right-handed-hitting slugger batted .615 (8-for-13) with two doubles, three walks and three RBI. Heading into play today, Butler is second in the A.L. with 39 multi-hit games, tied for ninth with 115 hits, is 10th with a .307 batting average and tied for 10th with 64 RBI.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko (.435, 3 HR, 7 RBI); Baltimore Orioles infielder Omar Quintanilla (.423, 11 H, 4 XBH); Minnesota Twins center fielder Denard Span (.458, 11 H, 4 2B) and starter Scott Diamond (SHO vs. Cleveland on July 27th); Texas Rangers starter Scott Feldman (2-0, 0.60 ERA, 15.0 IP, 10 SO); and Seattle Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen (4 SV, 6 SO).
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Billy Butler will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.