2017 Twins Player Predictions: Byron Buxton
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins DailyIt was assumed coming into spring training that Buxton would hit either first or ninth in the lineup. But his continues solid showing and confidence in spring training caused manager Paul Molitor to consider putting him in the #3 spot in the lineup. Buxton routinely turns regular singles into doubles, and doubles into triples. The ball comes off his bat and it becomes must-watch TV
So what do you expect to see from Byron Buxton in 2017? Has he taken The Step to stardom, or will he find struggles? Most likely the answer is somewhere in between. So aside from outstanding defense (which we believe is a given), what do you predict for Buxton this season? Be sure to post your thoughts and your predictions into the comments below. It’s always fun to take a look at the end of the season and see how our predictions look.
.561 - When Byron Buxton was optioned to Rochester in early August, he was hitting .193/.247/.315 (.561) in 63 games played. He came back up on September 1st, and over the final 29 games, he hit .287/.357/.653 (1.011) with 17 extra base hits, including nine homers. He raised his season OPS from .561 to .714.
31.9%, 35.6% - Striking out is something that Byron Buxton has done a lot in his young major league career. In his first season, he struck out 31.9% of the time. In 2016, he struck out 35.6% of his plate appearances. Even during his hot stretch in September, he struck out 38 times in 113 plate appearances (33.6%). While he was overmatched much of the time, it isn’t something that I think is a long-term risk. His strikeout rates in Low A, High A and AA were all under 20% Hopefully Buxton will be able to cut down on his strikeouts without it affecting his aggressiveness.
Byron Buxton: 553 at-bats, .266/.316/.463 (.779), 31 doubles, 12 triples, 18 home runs.
Byron Buxton, despite a 93 OPS+ in 2016, his bWAR was 1.9 because of his defense. Byron Buxton has tremendous value to the Twins even if his offense is just MLB average. As the Twins signed Jason Castro to help improve the pitching, having Byron Buxton manning centerfield on a nearly everyday basis.
I have Buxton playing in 154 games. Hopefully that is low. If what we saw in in September is a sign of things to come, not that he needs to post a 1.000 OPS all the time, then there are exciting times ahead of the Twins and their fans. As I wrote above, his ability to turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples will certainly help with his slugging percentage. I think he will approach what would be very close to another Twins single-season strikeouts record, though a healthy Sano will make that nothing to worry about for Buxton.
If Paul Molitor puts him in the #3 spot in the order, with speed and on-base guys in front of him, he should be able to drive in a lot of runs.
I think a Gold Glove and an All Star berth are possible in 2017, and there will be several of each in years to come.
Your turn. Share your thoughts on and predictions on Byron Buxton in 2017. We can take a look back at the end of the season and see how we did.
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