Major League Baseball announced today that Billy Butler of the Kansas City Royals has been voted the winner of the 2012 Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award. Butler received 80 first-place votes out of 84 ballots cast to garner the honor for the first time in his six-year career. He becomes the second Royal to be named the league’s top designated hitter, joining three-time winner Hal McRae who took home the award in 1976, 1980 and 1982 while playing for Kansas City.
Edwin Encarnacion finished second with 35 second-place votes after slugging a career-best 42 home runs and 110 RBI for the Toronto Blue Jays this past season.
Here are the players who were DH for at least 80% of their 2012 playing time
Butler was the only DH with the minimum 502 plate appearances to be eligible for the batting crown
Overall, Butler batted .313 (192-for-614) with 32 doubles, one triple, 29 home runs, 107 RBI and 72 runs scored in 161 games in 2012.
Here are Butler’s stats as a DH
Here are Edwin Encarnacion’s DH stats
David Ortiz‘ DH stats
Among qualifying designated hitters with a minimum of 100 at-bats at the position, the Butler finished first in games played (138), at-bats (538), runs scored (61), base hits (170), doubles (29), RBI (93), batting average (.315), on-base percentage (.371) and slugging percentage (.501). In addition, Butler was second in homers (23) and stood third in walks (42). The 26-year-old established career-bests in games, at-bats, hits, homers, RBI, slugging and total bases (313), leading his club in all three Triple Crown categories. The righty-hitting Butler finished fifth in hits, sixth in RBI, was tied for seventh in total bases and was eighth in batting average among all A.L. hitters.
Billy also was named the Les Milgram Royals Player of the Year by the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) for the third time in his career (also 2009-10), joining George Brett, Amos Otis and Mike Sweeney as the only three-time winners of the honor.