5. Billy Butler
Debut: May 1, 2007 (Age 21-013d)
The legend of Country Breakfast had to start somewhere. The Royals drafted Butler with the 14th overall selection in the 2004 MLB Draft. A kid out of Wolfson High in Jacksonville, Florida, Butler had massive question marks about his defense but none regarding his bat.
Legendary Royals scout Art Stewart once compared Butler's bat to Bo Jackson's before making his MLB debut. Butler left a great first impression on Royals fans with his two-hit performance against the Los Angeles Angels on May 1, 2007. Butler went on to have a great first season, with 52 RBI and a .794 OPS in his first 92 games.
Butler finally received some flowers, earning Silver Slugger and All-Star accolades in 2012. That was an elite season from the everyman Butler, who recorded career highs with 29 home runs, 107 RBI, and an astounding .882 OPS. 2014 was Butler's final year in Kansas City, coinciding with the team's best year since he made his debut.
Butler went on to play two more seasons, spent with the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees. It is crazy to think that Butler was 30 in his final playing year and could have had more in the tank.
Butler ended his career as a top-three batter in his draft class, making his draft slot well worth it. His career .795 OPS ranks second amongst players from that class, while many other statistics rank within their respective top 10. Butler lived up to the hype during his Royals tenure, and it all started at a very young age.