Billy Butler Looks Like Royalty in Kansas City Blue

Daniel Hudson@daniel3417Correspondent IIIApril 4, 2011

SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 12:  Billy Butler #16 of the Kansas City Royals plays in the spring training baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Surprise Stadium on March 12, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

You know how there are some guys that you just have a good feeling about?

Billy Butler is one of those guys for me.

I used to be an avid baseball card collector and there was always this sector of the hobby that only collected unproven prospects in hopes of hitting it big with one.

When I left the hobby, these guys were telling me that Alex Gordon was the hot prospect to watch in the Kansas City Royals system and that Butler was very much a nice add-on.

Not anymore.

While Gordon remains the biggest dud of the legendary 2005 draft class, Butler has taken the reigns of the organization at the young age of 25.

Already he shows tremendous plate discipline with a career .299 batting average and .360 on-base percentage; in fact, his numbers in both of those categories have risen for three consecutive years.

Butler is not your typical big batter, whose size prevents him from running the bases effectively. In 2009, he smacked 51 doubles, just three shy of Hal McRae's team record of 54; he followed that up with 45 in 2010.

Don't get me wrong, Butler is no speedster, but his ability to contribute on the base paths is a huge plus for an America League slugger.

All that being said, he could definitely work on his long ball.

At 6'1" and 240 pounds, Butler looks like your stereotypical .265 batting average, 30 HR guy—a poor man's Adam Dunn.

Instead, he has averaged a .310 batting average, 18 HR and 86 RBI over the past two seasons, in which he had right at 600 at-bats each season.

Why not give up 10 points in batting average for some more pop?

There is no doubt that he has the power to hit 25 to 30 HR year in and year out. Just take a look at the 445-foot bomb he launched today.

The question is if and when he will decide to add a little more upper cut to that sweet swing.

Billy Butler has the potential to be crowned King of the Royals with annual totals of .300, 25 HR and 90 RBI.

Dare I say he could pull Kansas City out of the cellar of the AL Central in the near future, too?