Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Billy Butler Bats .400, Bids for Return to Royals

Former Royals designated hitter-first baseman Billy Butler continued to press his case for a quick return to Kansas City, going 3-6 with a double to raise his batting average to .400 during Triple A Omaha's 13-0 trouncing of Mets affilliate New Orleans.

The 22-year-old former first round pick has renewed his relationship with former batting coach and minor league journeyman Terry Bradshaw -- who has temporarily taken over the helm at Omaha. The two picked up where they left off last year in Surprise, Ariz., with Bradshaw encouraging Butler to stay within himself, be patient, wait for pitches to turn on and most of all, believe in himself.

Butler owned a .336 career minor league batting average before winning a spot in the Royals starting lineup coming out of spring, but was demoted after going hitless in his last 10 appearances, with his average falling to .263 with just one home run and 18 RBI in 53 games.

Expect Butler to return to Kansas City as soon as the team is convinced he can overcome confidence issues to battle through the normal growing pains of a gifted yet still very young player.