Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
3. Billy Butler (2007-2014, 9.6 WAR)
Yes, calling Billy Butler a first baseman is a bit of a stretch, considering his defensive reputation and how he spent most of the latter portion of his career with the Kansas City Royals as a designated hitter. However, Butler did play 394 games at first, and was the Royals first baseman during the month of August when Hosmer was injured.
Even though a lot more was expected of Butler, he was a solid player for the Royals. His career season in 2012 earned him his only All-Star berth thus far, as he produced a .313/.373/.510 batting line and slugging 29 home runs. It appeared as though the breakout the Royals had been hoping for was finally going to happen.
Unfortunately, it never did. However, Butler was essentially a hefty version of Mark Grace on offense, hitting doubles and generally batting around .300 for a season. In the eight years he spent with the Royals, Butler produced a .295/.359/.449 batting line, hitting 127 home runs and 276 doubles. Despite his struggles last season, Butler put together a solid postseason, producing a .262/.327/.333 batting line.
He may have departed for the A’s and their three year, $30 Million offer, yet Billy Butler was a solid player for the Royals. I’m looking forward to seeing his return to Kansas City.
Next: A player who deserved much better