Billy Butler's Growing Place in Royals History

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 21: Billy Butler #16 of the Kansas City Royals hits a RBI double in the first inning during a game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on September 21, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Billy Butler, even if he never plays another game with the Royals, has become a fairly large figure in Royals history. He's not at the top level of Royal greats yet, but he's certainly reached the next tier. Butler has now played five seasons with the Royals, and in the last three he's played almost every single day. The totals are starting to add up.

Here are Butler's career stats:

Year G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS+ TB
5 Seasons 692 2861 2572 311 764 185 3 74 373 .297 .360 .458 120 1177

 

Maybe it's a quirk, maybe it's a function of being a small-market team, (maybe this isn't actually true) but the Royals haven't had many long-time players. Butler is already 20th in team history in games played. If he plays 150 games next season, he jump all the way up to 14th. Butler has already played more games in a Royal uniform than Danny Tartabull, Jermaine Dye, Steve Balboni or Willie Aikens. Next season, he'll likely pass Lou Piniella (700), Kevin Seitzer (741) Carlos Beltran (795) and Johnny Damon (803).

 

Butler has been a good hitter, so his place in the counting stats categories is a bit higher. He's 16th in team history in hits, 15th in total bases, 15th in homers, and 9th in doubles. And yes, he's 7th in GIDPs.

Of course, because of George Brett, Butler is unlikely to ever lead the Royals in a major offensive category. What about 2nd? Frank White has 2006 hits as a Royal, which could be tough. Butler will need a second long-term contract to get there. Butler will need 450 2Bs to pass Hal McRae, again, something he'll need a second-long-term contract to achieve. Amos Otis is at 365. If Butler plays out his current contract -- free agent in 2015 -- he could threaten Mike Sweeney in most categories.

What do you project/predict?

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