Kansas City Royals: 5 Reasons Billy Butler Can Become a Legit Superstar in 2012
Now in his sixth season in the majors, Kansas City Royals' DH/1B Billy Butler is playing the best baseball of his young career.
Going into Thursday's action, his six homers and 23 RBI are good for fourth in the A.L. in both categories.
He's on pace for not only a career year, but is also not far behind the pace of former Royal Steve Balboni's 36 home run season back in 1985.
Although he is nowhere near becoming a superstar at this level right now, the potential is definitely there for the former Wolfson High star.
Here are five reasons why he could get there in 2012.
He Is Surrounded by Young Offensive Talent
When Billy Butler first busted onto the big league scene back in 2007, the Royals were starving for offense in their lineup.
Five years later, things have drastically changed in that area for this organization.
With young talents like Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer hitting around him, it can only help Butler become a better overall hitter in the majors.
Especially if Moustakas can continue to hit like he has been, then Billy should see plenty of good pitches to hit in the five hole of KC's batting order.
He's Starting to Hit with More Power
When he first entered the majors less than five years ago, many expected to see some of the power that Butler displayed when he hit 30 homers combined at the Single-A and Double-A level back in 2005.
Unfortunately, the Orange Park, Florida native wasn't able to hit even 20 round-trippers in a season in his first four-plus campaigns in the majors.
However, something appears to be different this year.
Butler smashed his sixth homer of the young season on Tuesday night, and if he continues to generate more power with his swings in the future, there's no telling what he can achieve as a hitter.
He's Just Now Entering Is Prime
It seems as if Billy Butler has been a major-leaguer for a long time.
This could be due to the fact that he made his ML debut at the age of 21, and other than one demotion to the minors, he has been a mainstay in the Royals lineup ever since.
Now at 26 years old, Butler has officially entered his prime as a big-league hitter.
This is usually the time when players begin to figure more things out, and reach the highly-coveted superstar status.
At this rate, Billy could be there very soon.
He Already Hits Well to All Fields
One of the greatest strengths of Butler's game is his ability to spray the ball around the outfield on a consistent basis.
Unlike most hitters who rely more on their ability to pull pitches, Butler is cut from a different kind of mold.
It's this ability to hit to all fields that makes him not only more versatile as a hitter, but also more valuable as well.
He's Billy Butler!
What's not to love about Billy Butler?
He's not only a great player on the field, but he is just as great off the field, as he won the Hutch Award earlier this year that recognizes excellent on and off the baseball diamond.
Can he take it to the next level and become a superstar?
Time will tell if Butler can be an elite DH in the major leagues this season.