He's already made his first Major League All-Star Game in 2012, so it's already been a banner year for the most steady hitter on the Kansas City Royals of the last half-decade. But Billy Butler is also enjoying a greater power stroke than ever before -- moving from the category of solid hitter with gap power to potentially one who can knock 30 homers out in a season.
That's the pace Butler is one for now and it's a new one for him.
"I don't know what it is," Butler said. "I guess I'm getting more backspin. I'm definitely stronger. Maybe me coming into my prime, I don't know. I worked hard this offseason, but I'm definitely as strong as I've ever been and the balls are going farther."
Butler is currently slugging at a .505 clip which is much higher than his career average of .464. Butler has done this once before with a .492 slugging percentage in 2009 when he hit 21 home runs but he also nailed an incredible 51 doubles. Perhaps more of those are now starting to go over the fence.
Whatever it is, the Royals will take it. In another abysmal season, Kansas City could use a dose of good news.