The most likely reason for Billy's hot streak is that we're now in the season's second half, and this is when he kicks his numbers into overdrive. In his last 10 games he has put up a .356/.375/.800 line with 6 home runs and 14 RBI's. Now that he's driving in runs everybody is happy, because as you know, RBI's are the most important offensive statistic. Or so I've been told a thousand times this year. I mentioned in this piece for the St. Joseph News Press that it wouldn't surprise me if Butler ended up with similar HR and RBI numbers from 2009. As you may recall, he set career highs in the two departments when he hit 21 home runs and drove in 93.
So let's see how he matches up with his breakout season.
All Star Break:
2009 - 8 HR 38 RBI
2011 - 6 HR 38 RBI
2009 - 11 HR 47 RBI
2011 - 12 HR 53 RBI
So he's actually now ahead of 2009's pace, thanks to the power surge from last week. There are a couple of reasons why I haven't gotten worked up about his power numbers, 1) He has led the team in OBP most of the year, and 2) I knew more home runs were coming because career-wise he hits for more power after the All Star break. Not to mention that since 2009 he's sixth in the American League in extra base hits. He's not the singles hitter some people make him out to be. Anyway here's his splits by half.
Now I don't know if he'll ever be a perennial 20+ HR guy but there is plenty value in a 15 HR, 40 2B, .360 OBP season, even if its a DH doing it. Hal McRae rode numbers like that into the Royals Hall of Fame and I have no doubt that Billy can do the same.