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Article: Diving Into The Offseason: A Buxton Extension?

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IMO, this is why you acquire SP from outside

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Article: Supplementing the Twins: Lance Lynn

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2017 Twins Player Predictions: Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton looked different this year. On the Winter Caravan, at Twins Fest or throughout Spring Training, Buxton looked much more relaxed, much more comfortable. it’s amazing the effect of success can have on a person. After struggles and demotions marred much of his first two seasons, he came back up on September 1st last year and showed the promise so many had hoped for since he was the #2 overall pick in 2012.
In fact, he was probably much better in September than anyone would have ever thought. Not only did he show his great speed, but he showed the power that many wondered if he would ever be able to show.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily
It 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.


KEY NUMBERS

.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.


PREDICTIONS

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

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.


PREVIOUS PREDICTIONS

Jason Castro
Joe Mauer
Brian Dozier
Miguel Sano
Jorge Polanco
Eddie Rosario
Byron Buxton

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79 Comments

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bluechipper
Mar 30 2017 10:14 PM

I think the batting average is close, but if Buxton plays in 150 games or more, I see him hitting 25 HRs. I'm really looking forward to watching his progression this year.

    • gil4 likes this
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Dakota Diver
Mar 30 2017 10:17 PM
Buxton had a good spring. The ball seemed to jump off his bat. If he bunts a little more to draw in the infield he could hit .290 or better, 25 HR and 25 steals. Looks like gold glove in center with speed and good arm. If all starts to come together for him he could be annual all star. His RBI' S will depend where he bats in lineup.
    • bluechipper and bighat like this

Thank you Seth.You are brave to do this.

 

You suggested:

 

Byron Buxton: 553 at-bats, .266/.316/.463 (.779), 31 doubles, 12 triples, 18 home runs.

 

I'm thinking .258/.290/.485 (.775), 35 doubles, 8 triples, 23 home runs.32 SB, 12 CS. 73 runs.

 

I don't know if they announce Golden Glove votes, but 3rd in the AL.

 

My two biggest changes are in OBP-- if he's hitting 3rd, I can see less desire to take a walk.But I am optimistic about his power.When Sano hits a dinger, his swing looks like a HR swing.But last September, Buck's HR swing looked so effortless.

    • Mike Frasier Law likes this

 

Buxton had a good spring. The ball seemed to jump off his bat. If he bunts a little more to draw in the infield he could hit .290 or better, 25 HR and 25 steals. Looks like gold glove in center with speed and good arm. If all starts to come together for him he could be annual all star. His RBI' S will depend where he bats in lineup.

less bunts > more bunts. He's not a singles hitter he has too much XBH potential to be bunting ever. infield has to play in more either way or he will beat out a ton of infield hits

    • Mike Sixel, Ryan Atkins, mazeville and 1 other like this
Im gonna go with 550 ab .290/.350/.520 20 2Bs 10 3Bs 25 HR and 40 Sbs.
    • bighat likes this
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ToddlerHarmon
Mar 31 2017 01:01 AM
That last month his IsoP was over 350. I don't see it dropping below .200 again. .270/.330/.520 with more time in the lineup and therefore center field. Yes, a 7-WAR beast.
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HitInAPinch
Mar 31 2017 01:55 AM

I still have my doubts, but at least we'll have a real chance to see what he can to over the course of the season.I don't have any stats prediction, but I'd bet the house on a pretty big 1st half / 2nd half split.This year is about playing more games / innings in a season than he's ever played before. 

 

 

I have high hopes for Bux, but can't help remembering that Tom Kelly used to say something like, a ballplayer is never as good as he looks in April and September.

    • Danchat, hybridbear and tarheeltwinsfan like this

I am going for 300.  He legs out hits, cuts down on strike outs, and pounds 20 home runs and steals 40 bases. I like him to break out big. 

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Brock Beauchamp
Mar 31 2017 07:33 AM

less bunts > more bunts. He's not a singles hitter he has too much XBH potential to be bunting ever. infield has to play in more either way or he will beat out a ton of infield hits

I'm sorry but I don't agree with this at all. If the opposing team gives you a bunt for a hit, you take it.

Buxton shouldn't be bunting to move runners over but he should absolutely bunt if he has a better than even chance of reaching first base safely.
    • Seth Stohs, DJSim22, BigSkyTwinsFan and 7 others like this

I'll go with .255/.310/.480 20 HR, 45 SB and a Gold Glove.

 

My main concern is that I drafted him in my fantasy baseball league, so if it all goes to hell I am very sorry to everyone.

 

    • bluechipper and bighat like this

I'm looking for 20-30 triples, and 30-40 steals.

 

I'm sorry but I don't agree with this at all. If the opposing team gives you a bunt for a hit, you take it.

Buxton shouldn't be bunting to move runners over but he should absolutely bunt if he has a better than even chance of reaching first base safely.

 

Yup. I'm surprised more guys that get shifted on don't do this.

 

Probably because they are terrible bunters, but if a team is giving you the base, take it.

 

As for Buxton, I still say he's a guy who can go 20/20/20/20 (look up that list of players), but I only think that happens if he's batting leadoff. Batting third would put too many guys clogging the bases in front of him to rack up that many triples.

 

I'll go .265/.325/.485. 30 2B's, 10 3B's, 20 HR's, and he'll be the reason you go to watch Twins games this year.

 

 

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this
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Pardon My Dinger
Mar 31 2017 08:09 AM
I don't think he's going to swipe as many bags as a lot of you project, but I think he can go 20/20, which I'd be pretty happy with. With h Trout and Keirmeier out there, not sure he'll win a gold glove, but he'll merit one. I'll boldly predict 20 bunt singles as well.
    • Oldgoat_MN, TheLeviathan and Vanimal46 like this

September 12 through October 2, 2016, Buxton hit .219/.315/.500 (.815) which is certainly a fine OPS from a Gold Glove caliber CF, but that BA was pretty painful. His BABIP was .305 so probably a little shy of what we should expect of a guy with Buck’s speed.
His September stats were primarily boosted by his .405 BA and .476 BABIP in the first 10 games of that month (1.355 OPS). Even then he struck out at a 30% clip over those 10 games.
I’m a big Buxton fan, but I’m not so sure his contact issues are behind him. I’m also not optimistic he can sustain the 10% walk rate he had in September.

If Buck can manage a .250 BA and keep his OBP>.300 I believe his power will put him in the mid to upper .700s for OPS. Not an All-Star, but a guy trending in the right direction.

    • glunn and Oxtung like this
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LA VIkes Fan
Mar 31 2017 08:59 AM

Two things First, I think we're a little too optimistic at an over .300 BA or an over .500 SLG. That may come in 2018 or even the second half of 2017 but not overall this year. Second, STOP WITH THE BUNTING EMPHASIS!!! I think the best thing that could and maybe has happened to Buxton is that the powers that be stopped thinking of him as a speed guy who shoudl lead off, bunt a lot and take a lot of walks. That person may be Zach Granite (if we're lucky). Buxton is potentially much, MUCH more than that. He could be Adam Jones. Molitor seems to understand this and the batting order seems to reflect it. Buxton can always go back to trying to be Denard Span or Ben Revere if the whole all around player thing doesn't work and he can add the bunting piece later if it does. First, he needs to be the best at who he is - a 5 tool guy who can run, hit for power and play a great CF.  

 

With all that said, my prediction:

 

550 - 600 ABs, .265/.325/.450 (.775), 25 doubles, 10 triples,  15-20 Hrs, 30 SBs.

Also, gold glove OF and 10 outfield assists.  

 

I'm sorry but I don't agree with this at all. If the opposing team gives you a bunt for a hit, you take it.

Buxton shouldn't be bunting to move runners over but he should absolutely bunt if he has a better than even chance of reaching first base safely.

 

If he can hit .500 bunting, he should bunt every time.....but that seems unlikely. :)

 

I predict 4 WAR of both the b and f variety. I predict more hitting, but still maddeningly inefficient at stealing bases.

    • Dantes929, bizaff and hybridbear like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Mar 31 2017 09:08 AM

 

If he can hit .500 bunting, he should bunt every time.....but that seems unlikely. :)

That's why you pick and choose your approach based on situation. If you clobber the ball the first two times to the plate and the infielders take a step back in the dirt, you consider bunting in that situation.

 

Don't walk to the plate with a bunt in mind, let the fielders make that decision for you.

 

Of course, this means Buxton only bunts maybe 25-40 times a season. And that's okay.

 

Normally I'd say "don't bunt at all" but Buxton is so bloody fast that it only takes one step back from a fielder for Byron to have a very good chance of reaching first safely.

    • glunn, Oldgoat_MN, bizaff and 1 other like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Mar 31 2017 09:47 AM

I think Buxton has a monster season personally..850 OPS.10-20 HRs, lots of doubles, and a decent OBP.He looks good so far. 

Aaron Hicks had a nice power surge one ST which isn't too much different than doing it in September so lets not assume Buxton is the next Mantle or Trout.  Even if he does hit 20 homers that is still only once every 8 games or so.  Contrary to popular belief Puckett still bunted a lot even after he found power and to great advantage because he could bunt well. I am guessing it added quite a few points to his career BA. If Buxton gets good at it he can put the ball in play more often than not and I am guessing can hit way over .300 when he does put it in play. That's a great weapon.  Plus it drives other teams and pitchers nuts.  If he can do it well he should be attempting the bunt for base hit every other game at least.  

    • hybridbear likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Mar 31 2017 11:06 AM

What's the over/under on Buxton triples this season if he plays 150 games?

 

My first thought is 12 but thinking about it more, it could be around 15. The modern record was set by Curtis Granderson with 23 in 2007.

 

Buxton has the potential to break that record, though he'll probably have to make more contact for it to happen. Any ball to the gap has the potential to be a three-bagger with his speed.

    • glunn and hybridbear like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Mar 31 2017 11:16 AM

He's freaky fast... Watched him turn routine singles into standing doubles in ST.He could easily get 12+ if he plays 150 games. 

    • glunn likes this

I'm very optimistic about Buxton.  I'm hoping for an OPS north of .750, heavy on the XBHs.

 

I'd be OK with the occasional bunt for a hit...maybe 10-ish tries on the year.  Just enough to keep the corners up.  

 

 

    • glunn likes this

 

PREDICTIONS

Byron Buxton: 553 at-bats, .266/.316/.463 (.779), 31 doubles, 12 triples, 18 home runs.
 

 

.235 - .250 / .288 - .305 / .422 - .450

17 HR, 22 2B, 8 3B, 16 SB

Don't forget, he is still having trouble at the plate and he is still quite young. His peak years are further out.

If his breakout year actually happens in 2017, here's what we're looking at:

 

.280 / .335 / .500

22 HR, 27 2B, 9 3B, 20 SB

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Brock Beauchamp
Mar 31 2017 11:37 AM

 

I'm very optimistic about Buxton.  I'm hoping for an OPS north of .750, heavy on the XBHs.

 

I'd be OK with the occasional bunt for a hit...maybe 10-ish tries on the year.  Just enough to keep the corners up.  

I think he can bunt more often than that. Ten attempts is once every 15 games. Given his speed, I think he can bunt more in the every 4-6 game range and keep defenses honest against him. That's one bunt attempt every 16-24 plate appearances.

    • glunn likes this

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