Butler's hot start going virtually unnoticed

Butler's hot start going virtually unnoticed

BOSTON -- Check the American League leaders on MLB.com on Thursday and there he is -- the Royals' Billy Butler second in batting average at .348. Not that anybody seems to be making a fuss about it.

"I don't know if it's because I play in Kansas City or something that they don't take any notice, but hopefully we start winning some more ballgames and people take notice of how good we all can hit," Butler said.

Butler was trailing Justin Morneau by a good margin -- the Twins slugger was at .369 -- but he's an old hand at winning batting titles. Butler led the Pioneer League at .373 in 2004 and the Texas League at .331 in '06.

"I've been very impressed with Billy," manager Ned Yost said. "But what impresses me more than anything is his consistency, day-in and day-out, with his approach and the way that he studies the game from the bench. I mean, he never takes his eye off the pitcher, he's always asking questions, he's always noticing things. He's got a great idea of what he's doing."

Butler was tied for the Major League lead with 64 hits and jumped into the batting average heights by hitting safely in 13 of 15 games at a .379 pace going into Thursday night's game against the Red Sox.

"If you ask me if I'd finish second in the league in hitting or get in the playoffs, you know which one I'd choose," Butler said.