KANSAS CITY -- Pitcher Zack Greinke, courtesy of his Cy Young Award, is a certified star. First baseman Billy Butler is, unofficially at least, an unsung star.
Now both of those Royals players can have their stars polished up by fans voting for the 2009 MLB.com This Year in Baseball Awards.
Greinke is a candidate for Starter of the Year, and Butler is in the running for Unsung Star of the Year.
For the eighth year, fans will decide on the top hitters, pitchers and moments during the season.
The ballot boxes will close at 6:59 p.m. CT on Dec. 11. In 2008, a record 12 million votes were cast for the TYIB Awards, and that figure could be surpassed this time around as fans weigh in on the year's top hitter, pitcher, moments and more. The results of the voting will be revealed during the week of Dec. 14-18.
American League baseball writers made Greinke an overwhelming choice for the Cy Young Award last week, giving him 25 of 28 first-place votes. In the TYIB voting, though, he's getting strong competition from National League winner Tim Lincecum.
Greinke's 16-8 record was accompanied by a Major League-best ERA of 2.16 and 242 strikeouts.
Butler not only batted .301 but knocked 51 doubles, 21 homers and 93 RBIs, good totals for the unsung star category. However, he's running behind outfielder Jayson Werth of the world champion Phillies in the TYIB balloting.
Winners will receive trophies in on-field ceremonies next season.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.