FanPost

Is Billy Butler the Worst?


We can bicker about stats. As far as baserunning is concerned, Billy Butler is beyond horrible when running the bases based upon counting stats like XBT (Extra Bases Taken percentage, found in baseballreference). Billy does not often go first to third on a single, or second to home on a single. Butler is much below league average on reaching home from first on a double. Billy's own doubles this year went down and those hitting "gappers" hoping for doubles while Butler was going station-to-station had to be stymied when Billy held at second base. Billy has a career XBT of 21% and managed 22% last season.

When Kansas City won 102 games in 1977, the average player for the Royals had an XBT of 51%. George Brett had an XBT that season of 74%, and finished his career with an average of 54%. George had an XBT of 46% during his final year in 1993 at forty years of age. Catcher Darrell Porter managed 36% in 1977 and John Wathan's 31% was not indicative of his career 51% average. Kansas City dumped John Mayberry after the 1977 season when his XBT dropped to 23% from his career 33% average. Mayberry was frequently not the cleanup hitter that banner season.

Somebody at bleacherreport gave an estimate of the 25 slowest baserunners in baseball history:

bleacherreport.com/articles/665960-mlb-power-rankings-cecil-fielder-and-the-25-slowest-players-in-mlb-history

Greg Luzinski was ranked 21st, and Greg finished with a career XBT of 29%. David Ortiz was ranked 12th, Yadi Molina was ranked 11th, and their career XBT's of 27% ties the current career mark of Mike Moustakas. Cecil Fielder was ranked 2nd slowest and managed 26% XBT. The slowest of the slow, the worst runner in baseball history according to that article in bleacherreport was HOFer Ernie Lombardi. Baseballreference does not figure XBT before 1945, but Ernie managed 24% XBT in the twilight of his career in his late thirties. Billy Butler, age 27, has a career XBT of 21%.

Steve Balboni managed a career XBT of 24% and usually batted somewhere other than cleanup for the World Champion 1985 Royals, often 6th or even 7th in the order. Bob Hamelin came in with a 30% career XBT. Mike Sweeney put up 35%, as has John Buck. I did find Bengie Molina at 16% to be inferior to Billy Butler numbers. Butler has a chance to not only be known as slow, but he has a chance for also being known as historically, world-beating, glacier-fast, plodding-with-WWII army boots, slower than slow. Just wait until he hits age 35, because Edgar Martinez never went below 30% until the age of 35.

The question is:

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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