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Butler wins first career Silver Slugger at DH

Butler wins first career Silver Slugger at DH

Butler wins first career Silver Slugger at DH

KANSAS CITY -- Just like his hits, the awards keep coming for Billy Butler.

Louisville Slugger announced on Thursday night that Butler won the 2012 Silver Slugger Award at designated hitter in the American League. This is the first time that Butler has won the award, which was unveiled during an MLB Network show.

On Wednesday, Butler was named the Royals Player of the Year for the third time in his career.

Silver Slugger Awards are voted on by Major League managers and coaches to determine the best offensive producers at each position in both leagues. They are not permitted to vote for players on their own team.

Butler was the DH in 138 of his 161 games this year, batting .315 with 23 home runs, 29 doubles and 93 RBIs. He led all DHs with 170 hits.

Although Butler likes to play first base, he's adapted well to being virtually a full-time DH.

"I go into every day mentally saying I'm going to do whatever it takes for this team to be successful," Butler said. "That's my role and I've accepted that and I'm fine with it. I'm going to do it to the best of my ability and I'm going to continue to try and work harder each day to hone in on my skills.

"That's not saying I don't work at first base anymore. I take my ground balls every day but, after you get done with your work, you have to realize what you're doing that day and what your role is and you have to focus on that."

The other AL winners were: first base, Prince Fielder, Tigers; second base, Robinson Cano, Yankees; shortstop, Derek Jeter, Yankees; third base, Miguel Cabrera, Tigers; outfield, Mike Trout, Angels, Josh Hamilton, Rangers, and Josh Willingham, Twins; catcher, A. J. Pierzynski, White Sox.

Trout, Willingham and Pierzynski joined Butler as first-time winners in the AL. Fielder had won twice previously in the National League.

Butler is the seventh Royals player to win a Silver Slugger, an award that originated in 1980. He's the team's first winner since third baseman Dean Palmer won in 1998.

The trophy, three feet tall and bearing the engraved name of the winner and his Silver Slugger teammates in the AL, will be presented to Butler prior to a game next season at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals' previous Silver Slugger winners:

George Brett: 1980 and '85 (third base); '88 (first base)
Willie Wilson: 1980 and '82 (outfield)
Hal McRae: 1982 (designated hitter)
Frank White: 1986 (second base)
Gary Gaetti: 1995 (third base)
Dean Palmer: 1998 (third base)

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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