KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 27: Billy Butler #16 of the Kansas City Royals celebrates his home run with teammates during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Kauffman Stadium on June 27, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
OK, name the 2nd best 1B the National League behind Joey Votto. Go ahead. Any time now. The N.L. 1B landscape is like Bill Brasky and the rest of the salesmen in his office, one superman and a bunch of want-to-be's. So, if Billy Butler was playing in the NL as a 1B, would he get quite a bit of consideration as an All-Star candidate?
I know I am making a few assumptions, but just play along will you. If the back handing, glove swiping, great defensive 1B Eric Hosmer wasn't on the Royals holding down the fort at 1B, Butler would be playing it. He did during inter-league play. It would be tough to keep Billy's bat out of any lineup. In the AL this year, he is considered to to be a DH for purposes of the All-Star Game voting. Here is how his offensive numbers stand up against other DH and 1B in the AL (ranked according to wOBA):
|David Ortiz||Red Sox||74||21||0.309||0.399||0.628||0.422||2.4|
|Paul Konerko||White Sox||67||13||0.333||0.412||0.549||0.411||2.2|
|Edwin Encarnacion||Blue Jays||72||22||0.286||0.359||0.579||0.396||2.2|
|Adam Dunn||White Sox||75||24||0.216||0.357||0.527||0.376||1.5|
|Adrian Gonzalez||Red Sox||75||6||0.269||0.322||0.412||0.317||0.7|
Fielder is leading the 1B voting, so he is in. Same with Ortiz with DH. Dunn, Encarnacion and Konerko are having monster seasons and deserve to make it over Butler. Also Pujols and Teixera, who are having worse seasons than Butler, will get quite a bitter of consideration. The team is not going to carry 8 1B and DH. It looks like Butler is probably not going to make the A.L. All-Star team unless a couple of players get injured between now and the game.
It is quite a bit different picture in the N.L. Here is how the top 1B rank according to wOBA:
No surprise with Votto on top of the list. LaHair and Goldschmidt are both having breakout type seasons. Neither are in the top 5 in voting for 1B tough. The fans currently have Freeman, Berkman, Belt and Howard as their 2nd to 5th choices behind Votto. Billy Ray would maybe get a little more consideration than Goldschmidt and LaHair because of his higher HR total and he has been in the league longer. Gotta have some veteran Perez-ence.
It is not perfectly clear that Butler would make the N.L. All-Star roster. He would basically be in the conversation with 3 other players. In the AL, he is basically not in the the conversation with 7 other players, 2 DH and 5 1B, more likely to get the call. Too bad for the AL log jam, Billy is having a nice season and it would be nice for him to get noticed for it.