Kansas City Royals designated hitter and first baseman Billy Butler has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending August 10th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Butler batted .435 (10-for-23) with five doubles, two homers, seven RBI and seven runs scored in six games to capture his fifth career weekly honor. He is the first Royal to get tabbed with a Player of the Week Award since he last won for the week ending July 29, 2012. Billy topped all A.L. hitters in slugging percentage (.913) and total bases (21), was tied for first in doubles, tied for second in RBI and runs scored, was fourth in batting average and was tied for sixth in hits. Butler is riding a seven-game hitting streak heading into play today, batting .481 (13-for-27) over the stretch, and he has helped facilitate the Royals into Postseason contention with a seven-game winning streak to trail the A.L. Central-leading Detroit Tigers by just a half-game. Kansas City's recent resurgence has also propelled the Club to a 1.5-game lead for the second A.L. Wild Card spot.
Billy's offensive efforts last week coincided with a move to first base as he fills in for the injured Eric Hosmer, who is on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his right hand. On Tuesday, the 28-year-old Butler set a season high with four hits, including a double, a homer, three RBI and two runs scored as Kansas City topped the Arizona Diamondbacks, 12-2, in Phoenix. The 12-run output was a season best for the Royals. On Wednesday, the right-handed-hitting Butler led off the Royals' half of the ninth inning with a double and later scored what would be the deciding run as Kansas City edged the D-backs, 4-3. Following a 6-2 victory and a three-game sweep of Arizona on Thursday, Kansas City continued their recent roll as they returned home on Friday to take on the San Francisco Giants. Butler, a Florida native, went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and three RBI as the Royals doubled up the Giants, 4-2, at Kauffman Stadium. The first-inning blast was Billy's 125th in his eight-year career, moving him past Danny Tartabull (124 HR) into sole possession of seventh place on the team's all-time list. After sparking a four-run rally with a leadoff double in the seventh frame of an eventual 5-0 blanking of San Francisco on Saturday, the former first round draft pick (14th overall selection by Kansas City in 2004) helped guide the Royals to a 7-4 win over the Giants on Sunday with an RBI-double and a run scored as Kansas City completed its second straight series sweep and its fifth of the season.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Butler's Kansas City teammates Alex Gordon (.381, 3 HR, 6 RBI), James Shields (SHO vs. S.F. on 8/9) and Greg Holland (3 SV, 5 SO); Baltimore's J.J. Hardy (.478, 2 HR, 7 RBI) and Caleb Joseph (.368, 4 HR, 8 RBI); Minnesota's Phil Hughes (2-0, 1.38 ERA, 16 SO); Oakland's Jon Lester (SHO vs. MIN on 8/7); Texas' Colby Lewis (SHO at CWS on 8/5); and Garrett Richards (1-0, 0.59 ERA, SHO at LAD on 8/4) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
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.