The honors keep coming for Billy Butler, who can now clear space in his trophy case for the 2012 Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award.

The voting wasn't close.

Butler received 80 of 84 first-place votes in balloting by a panel of beat writers, broadcasters and American League public-relations departments. Nominees consisted of the 24 players who had at least 100 at-bats as a DH.

Not bad for a guy who, as recently as 2011, chafed at the idea of being a full-time DH.

"I've embraced it," Butler said. "I understand what my role is, and I want to do it to the best of my ability — whatever that is. Each day when I come to the park, I'm going to make sure I do that. I think that's what every guy on our roster should do.

"That's what makes you a professional. You're not the one who gets to call where you're going to play or what position you're going to play. Whatever you're told to do, you do it to the best of your potential."

Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion finished second in the balloting.

Butler, 26, previously won the Silver Slugger Award for excellence in hitting by a designated hitter and was picked as the Royals' player of the year for the third time in four seasons.

"For Billy to win the Silver Slugger was a phenomenal accomplishment," manager Ned Yost said. "It just gives him a little bit of due on how good he really is. When you win the Silver Slugger as a DH, those are guys who their sole job is to hit."

That production hasn't gone unnoticed.

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