Billy Butler is the Kansas City Royals’ representative in the 2012 MLB All-Star game, to take place at Kauffman Stadium on July 10.
Butler was a player selection of American League All-Star manager, Ron Washington (Texas Rangers).
Washington’s seven selections, in conjunction with MLB, included Twins catcher Joe Mauer, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus and designated hitter Billy Butler of the Royals. Washington’s pitching selections are A’s reliever Ryan Cook, Rangers starter Matt Harrison, Mariners starter Felix Hernandez and Rangers reliever Joe Nathan.
“I think just having a full squad with the best that the American League has to offer will probably make a difference,” Washington said on TBS. “We just had some injuries last year, and a few guys pitched on Sunday and couldn’t play. When you look at that National League squad, they were strong, and I’m hoping to be as strong this year and hopefully we can do better.”
In addition to Butler, the Royals have the opportunity to be represented by a second member of the team. Closer Jonathan Broxton is included in the “Final Vote”.
In the American League, it will come down to Kansas City’s Jonathan Broxton, Texas’ Yu Darvish, Baltimore’s Jason Hammel, Chicago’s Jake Peavy and Los Angeles’ Ernesto Frieri, all of them pitchers.
The “Final Vote” for the All-Star Game began in 2002 and the Royals have never had a player win the “Final Vote”. Jose Guillen was nominated in 2009 and Alex Gordon in 2011.
It is no surprise Billy Butler was chosen by Ron Washington. He is having a career season and has made the transition perfectly to becoming a full-time designated hitter, something Billy admitted was difficult when the transition process began in early 2011.
Current 2012 Stats: .297 AVG, 16 HR, 48 RBI, 30 R, .365 OBP, .512 SLG, .877 OPS
Projected 2012 Stats (ESPN): 34 HR (career best), 101 RBI (career best), 63 R
Until recently, I have not been a huge Billy Butler fan. For my preference, Butler simply had not displayed enough power to become a true DH. In the off-season, Butler worked on his legs in an effort to turn doubles into home runs. The off-season work has been successful.
I am now a Billy Butler fan.
Broxton’s inclusion in the “Final Vote” is very interesting to me. Broxton is worthy of the nomination with 20 saves (6th in MLB, 4th in AL). That being said, Broxton’s 2.05 ERA is a bit high for a closer and a .257 batting average against and a 1.34 WHIP.
I am not sure Broxton will with the “Final Vote”. The Japanese import, Yu Darvish, is very popular and Jake Peavy is having a fantastic season, although he is not getting much run support in 2012.
Broxton’s inclusion in the “Final Vote” interests me greatly because Broxton has been rumored to be on the trade block. An All-Star appearance would greatly boost his trade value.
Along this line of thought – It is too bad Washington did not select Broxton to the roster and leave Butler out. While this may not have been a popular swap among the common fan, Broxton’s selection would greatly boost his trade value. Plus, on the side, I cannot believe Edwin Encarnacion was left off the AL roster! Encarnacion is batting .289 with 22 home runs (5th in AL) while driving in 55 runs (5th in AL) while slugging .572 (5th in AL) with an OPS of .945 (6th in AL).
Now, don’t get upset if/when the Royals trade Broxton. Trading Broxton does not mean the Royals have given up on the 2012 season. Broxton’s contract with the Royals is only for the 2012 season ($4M). Setup-man Greg Holland would likely slide into the closer role if Broxton is dealt.