Ball Star

Camp chat with Royals DH Billy Butler

Updated: 2013-02-19T22:43:17Z

Royals DH Billy Butler answered fans' questions after his morning batting practice session at spring training in Surprise, Ariz.

Q: Any differences in your training approach to the offseason?

A: No, nothing different. I just want to build off the year I had last year.

Q: The bobblehead curse took down Eric Hosmer last year. Are you concerned you're next?

A: No.

Q: Goal for the team this year?

A: Playoffs.

Q: Biggest difference this offseason in terms of the team's expectations?

A: You can obviously tell by our pitching staff that we had a complete overhaul of everything and our pitching staff is a strength now.

Q: What's been your most memorable moment in baseball so far?

A: The All-Star Game last year and the reception the fans gave me.

Q: Do you ever get advice from veteran hitters around the league?

A: I'll talk to most guys I know who have been around awhile. We mostly talk hitting. I try to take a little something out of everyone. I talk to Paul Konerko quite a bit. He lives in Scottsdale, too, so I talk to him. Justin Morneau, too.

Q: Last couple of years, it looked like you were looking more for inside fastballs so you could pull it.

A: I'm not looking for an inside fastball. I have the same approach. I've kind of matured. The top of my hand's gotten stronger, so the ball's going farther on an inside pitch. I'm still hitting the same pitches, just hitting them farther.

Q: What holds hitters back the most from reaching their potential at the major-league level?

A: Their head. Mental stuff. They can't get out of their heads enough to make progress. They feel like they have to make everything perfect, and there's no perfect hitter. It's mental approach and confidence. You have to go up there with continued confidence no matter how many times you've gotten out. It's a talent. It doesn't matter how many times I've gotten out, I feel like next time I go up there, I'm getting a hit. I'm gonna hit it hard every time. You have to honestly trick yourself mentally.

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