Billy Butler, who has struggled most of the season for the Kansas City Royals, took home the A.L. player of the week award for the period ending August 10. MLB Network made the announcement earlier this afternoon.
Butler is riding a 7-game hitting streak, and hit .435 for the week, going 10 for 23 with 5 doubles, 2 home runs, and 7 RBI’s. Both of Butler’s home runs were moon shots that travelled 416 feet and 437 feet.
Butler led the American League in slugging for the week at .931 and total bases with 21. Butler’s slash line over the last 7 days is a phenomenal .435/.458/.913 for an OPS of 1.371.
Butler’s hot streak coincided with Eric Hosmer‘s move to the DL, which put Billy Butler in the field at 1st base. Manager Ned Yost will have to consider getting Butler more glove-time going forward even after Eric Hosmer returns.
Butler has also helped fuel a 7-game winning streak for the Royals after moving back into the cleanup spot. In the week, the Royals defeated the A’s, swept the Diamondbacks, and came home to sweep the Giants in Kansas City. The surge has pushed Kansas City within 1/2 game of the A.L. Central lead behind Detroit, and has given the Royals a 1.5 game bulge over the Mariners and Blue Jays for the A.L’s 2nd wild card spot.
Billy Butler’s Player of the Week award was the 5th of his career, and the first for the Royals since Butler won July 29, 2012.
The hot week is welcome to Butler, who has struggled most of the season and is in the final year of his contract. His poor play early in the season caused many to speculate that the team would not pick up his $12 million option at the end of the year.
Now, that outcome is hardly certain, especially if Butler continues to drive the team in what turns out to be the Royals first playoff run in 29-years.