Billy Butler no longer the Dedicated Designated Hitter

The Butler is doing it all

The Butler is doing it all

I can’t pretend to be a fan of the designated hitter. I think it takes strategy out of the game and considering there is an inequality because of the existence of the DH in the AL and the absence in the NL, I would prefer to see the semi-position eliminated.

In addition, I would never be in favor of a DH in the Hall of Fame. Not only does a player, who primarily is a DH, only play a portion by which a Hall of Famer should be evaluated, the mere absence of not playing in the field, I believe, inflates a batter’s success at the plate by virtue of a reduction of fatigue and a decreased chance of injury.

I also believe that the flexibility afforded by a team enabling various players to “rest” by rotating the DH is beneficial both in terms of the quality of the team and the team’s payroll.

Billy Butler is an interesting case study

Look at how much better Butler has done when he has taken the field.

G PA AB H 2B HR BB K RBI AVG OBP SLUG OPS
As DH 93 394 357 93 18 3 28 67 35 .261 .310 .336 .646
As 1B 29 114 107 33 8 5 7 13 16 .308 .351 .523 .874

Butler was basically the full time DH through July 20. Since then, the Royals have gone 24-8, the best record in baseball.

Royals Designated Hitters since July 20
G PA AB H 2B HR BB K RBI AVG OBP SLUG OPS
Erik Kratz (KC) 1 3 3 1 0 0 0 1 0 .333 .333 .333 .667
Josh Willingham (KC) 8 33 28 9 3 2 4 10 6 .321 .424 .643 1.067
Raul Ibanez (KC) 8 28 25 7 2 1 3 4 2 .280 .357 .480 .837
Nori Aoki (KC) 4 18 18 4 0 0 0 3 4 .222 .222 .333 .556
Salvador Perez (KC) 3 12 11 2 0 0 0 2 1 .182 .167 .182 .348
Danny Valencia (KC) 1 3 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .000 .000 .000
Billy Butler (KC) 3 12 12 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .000 .000 .000

Designated Hitters 2012 (minimum 250 PA through 8/24)

G PA AB H 2B HR BB K RBI AVG OBP SLUG OPS
1. Billy Butler (KC) 108 461 416 126 17 20 36 76 70 .303 .367 .493 .859
2. Delmon Young (DET) 85 357 337 89 14 10 14 55 40 .264 .291 .395 .686
3. Kendrys Morales (LAA) 84 356 333 95 15 16 20 80 49 .285 .329 .474 .803
4. David Ortiz (BOS) 81 351 297 95 25 20 52 48 53 .320 .419 .606 1.025
5. Adam Dunn (CWS) 76 333 280 57 8 23 50 116 57 .204 .324 .479 .803
6. Luke Scott (TB) 66 262 240 55 15 11 14 60 44 .229 .282 .438 .720
7. Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) 61 261 225 66 9 17 27 40 48 .293 .379 .560 .939
8. Jesus Montero (SEA) 62 251 233 55 10 5 13 49 27 .236 .279 .343 .622

Designated Hitters 2013 (minimum 250 PA through 8/24)

G PA AB H 2B HR BB K RBI AVG OBP SLUG OPS
1. Billy Butler (KC) 117 495 428 128 24 11 62 68 56 .299 .388 .432 .820
2. Victor Martinez (DET) 112 488 441 128 26 9 39 49 64 .290 .344 .410 .755
3. David Ortiz (BOS) 102 452 394 128 28 22 55 62 75 .325 .405 .574 .978
4. Kendrys Morales (SEA) 94 405 366 104 21 13 34 75 49 .284 .351 .448 .799
5. Albert Pujols (LAA) 65 297 266 72 15 8 27 39 35 .271 .343 .417 .761
6. Travis Hafner (NYY) 68 278 246 51 7 11 29 75 36 .207 .299 .378 .677
7. Lance Berkman (TEX) 61 258 226 60 10 6 32 45 34 .265 .357 .398 .755

Designated Hitters 2014 (minimum 250 PA through 8/24)

G PA AB H 2B HR BB K RBI AVG OBP SLUG OPS
1. David Ortiz (BOS) 113 498 426 115 25 29 64 75 88 .270 .365 .533 .898
2. Victor Martinez (DET) 92 402 352 112 19 21 46 30 70 .318 .396 .551 .947
3. Billy Butler (KC) 93 394 357 93 18 3 28 67 35 .261 .310 .336 .646
4. Chris Carter (HOU) 94 384 345 82 17 28 31 121 65 .238 .307 .536 .844
5. Adam Dunn (CWS) 72 308 262 61 12 13 42 94 34 .233 .344 .427 .772
6. Nelson Cruz (BAL) 64 275 246 59 11 14 25 55 44 .240 .309 .455 .764
7. Carlos Beltran (NYY) 66 271 246 62 14 12 20 48 37 .252 .306 .455 .762

  • ficklefingeroffate

    Only reason to lose the DH.Ortiz retires because he cant play in the field.

    • VtBob

      I’ll go along with that!

  • 5MinuteMajor22

    does that mean a pitcher shouldnt be in the HOF because he only plays a “portion of the game?” If he excels at his job he should not be judged any less. I do not like the DH either and dislike even more that it is not in both leagues, but I dont think any less of Edgar Martinez and David Ortiz, etc because they only DH

    • http://www.baseballanalytics.org Bill Chuck

      A pitcher plays all parts of the game, a DH doesn’t

      • 5MinuteMajor22

        not really. He pitches. most dont care about their ABs (theyll be PH for if the AB is important) and fielding… as well as baserunning. I disagree with the premise that DHs should not be in the HOF a pitcher pitches, a DH hits.

  • VtBob

    I have to disagree with the Hall of Fame argument Bill, its a part of the game now & has been for a long time. I agree that it totally changes the strategy of the game & I believe it distracts from the overall game in World Series & inter-league play at parks with & without the DH when the games change locations. But, how can someone like a David Ortiz or an Edgar Martinez not belong as one who was at the very top of that position and was for over a decade? Specialists have become more a part of the game over the years, and as relievers have finally been recognized over the last decade, why not a superb DH?