Billy Butler wins Designated Hitter of the Year Award

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

The Kansas City Royals slugger won the Designated Hitter of the Year Award with a majority of the first-place votes.

Billy Butler's career year this past season earned him the 2012 Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award on Tuesday.

The Kansas City Royals DH won with 80 first-place votes of the 84 ballots cast. Edwin Encarnacion of the Toronto Blue Jays finished in second with 42 home runs and 110 RBI.

Butler is the first Royals player to earn the honor since Hal McRae won in 1982, as well as the fifth different DH to win in the last five years. David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox has dominated the award with six wins in the last 10 years, including a stretch from 2003-07.

Originally an outfielder, and then a first baseman for the Royals, Butler was moved to the DH role when Kansas City called up first base prospect Eric Hosmer in 2011. This past season, Butler led the all DHs with a .315 batting average and 93 RBI.

While he would prefer to play at a position, Butler understands what is best for the team:

"I'd be lying if I told you I'm satisfied doing that," Butler said. "But I've embraced it -- I understand what my role is. I'm going to do it to the best of my ability. Every day when I come to the park, I make sure I hopefully put the team in the best position to win a ballgame by preparing myself for what my role is. I think that's what every guy on our roster should do. That's what makes you professional."

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