Last season was one that fans of the Kansas City Royals might want to forget, but after making a big trade in the off-season, Kansas City could be up to something big for 2013.
If the Royals are going to be a team that competes for an American League Central title however, I believe that it could come down to one player continuing their big season from 2012. That would be Billy Butler, who had a career-high 29 home runs with 107 RBIs last season for Kansas City, and at age-27, is entering the prime of his career.
Butler has been a doubles machine over his career, with 217 doubles in six seasons. The power numbers finally showed up for Butler last season, and I fully expect that Butler gets over 30 home runs in 2013 for a Kansas City team that will be better just because of trading for James Shields and Wade Davis. With the pitching being better, all those runs that Butler is knocking in are going to mean something, finally.
There had been talk that Butler could be traded in the off-season to get more pitching help but with the Shields trade, that isn’t going to happen. Butler is quickly becoming one of the best designated hitters in all of Major League Baseball and while he does play some first base for the Royals, I would expect Butler to be in there as the DH for almost every game this season for Kansas City.
This could be the best season that the Royals have had in three decades, and a lot of that will come down to whether Butler can be even better than he was last season.