Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Bonus Twins Schedule Stat

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:14 AM
Didn't see this posted elswhere. From The Athletic
Full topic ›

Twins Daily's statement on civil issues

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:36 AM
Twins Daily believes Black Lives Matter.   Twins Daily believes that the yoke of systemic racism pulls us all down.   Twins Dai...
Full topic ›

Cleveland MLB team reportedly considering name change

Other Baseball Today, 12:36 AM
This is an AP article I lifted from the StarTribune web site.   https://www.startrib...sure/571623572/
Full topic ›

Watch the Live Play-by-Play of the Virtual Twins Playoffs

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:07 PM
With the real Twins around the corner, I have elected to sim to the playoffs to try and tease how the real club will do this fall, and as...
Full topic ›

The #5 pitcher on the 1965 Twins

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 01:56 PM
Tim Flattery had a conversation with Dwight Siebler, who was the 5th start on the 1965 Twins World Series team (the Sandy Koufax series)....
Full topic ›

Byron Buxton's Not So Secret Value

Twins fans realize how good Byron Buxton is on the defensive side of the ball. When he is healthy and, on the field, he is arguably the best defensive center fielder in the game and the race might not even be that close. That being said, there might be something different to the value he is providing to the Twins this season. To go along with his Gold Glove defense, he has improved on the offensive side of the ball.

Is Buxton the key for the Twins winning ways?
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
Buxton has missed playing time during a couple of different stretches this season. He recently was placed on the 7-day concussion IL after making a diving catch. Back in June, Buxton missed time after being hit on the wrist with a pitch. Earlier in the year, he had a knee bruise after colliding with the center field wall.

One of Buxton’s biggest flaws might be his reckless approach in the outfield. Some might call it aggressive, but his injury history as a professional is tough to ignore. He’s been on the field more in 2019 than in 2018, so that’s a step in the right direction. However, he might be key to Minnesota winning games and this means they need him on the field.

Minnesota entered play on Tuesday with a 61-38 record (.616 PCT) which is good for the third best total in the American League. Byron Buxton has started 71 games, and, in those games, Buxton has helped the Twins to a 48-23 record (.676 PCT). With Buxton on the sidelines, the club has gone 13-15, which is a .464 winning percentage. There is something extra Buxton brings to the table.

Buxton’s defensive value is obviously the biggest part of the winning equation. Even with the time missed, he surged into the lead as baseball’s best defender according to SABR’s most recent Defensive Index rankings. The SABR Defensive Index draws on and aggregates two types of existing defensive metrics: those derived from batted ball location-based data and those collected from play-by-play accounts. Through the All-Star break, Buxton was 0.3 SDI points ahead of Oakland’s Marcus Semien and he was 1.6 points ahead of the next best center fielder, Tampa’s Kevin Kiermaier.

During the 2017 campaign, Buxton was awarded the Platinum Glove for being the AL’s best defender. In that season, he had a career-high 26 outs above average. So far this season, he has 12 outs above average, which is still very good and could have him on pace to have close to 20. His responsible plays chart (see below) should be submitted to the Smithsonian as he has multiple catches this season with a 0% catch probability.
Attached Image: Buxton Chart.png
Offensively, Buxton’s biggest improvement this season has been against the fastball. Last year, he hit .150 with .183 SLG when facing fastballs. So far this season, his average has jumped 135 points and his slugging percentage has gone up almost three times what he did against fastballs in 2018. Fastballs aren’t his only offensive area of improvement.

He had a 1.6 Barrel % in 2018 and that has increased to 8.1 this year (MLB average 6.3). Naturally his exit velocity has also increased from being in the mid-80s to 89.4 mph this season. His launch angle has also increased from being slightly above league average (11.1 MLB AVG) to 20.1 degrees. A 39.9 Hard Hit % puts Buxton over 5% higher than the MLB mark.

Minnesota Twins fans are well aware of the long-term impact concussions can have on players. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau both had their career’s altered because of concussion related issues. With multiple months left in the season, the Twins need Buxton healthy for September more than they need him at the end of July. But the team’s October chances could be hurt if Buxton’s return isn’t imminent.

Is Byron Buxton the key to Minnesota’s winning ways? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

Other Stories of Interest
Buyer Beware: Avoiding a Chris Archer Trade
Champs Were Chumps: Looking Back at the Worst Slumps of Recent World Series Winners
What Will It Take to Acquire Marcus Stroman?

  • h2oface, ToddlerHarmon and DannySD like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

10 Comments

He is in many ways, but I really wonder how many games he has missed and how many he has played since coming up.Each one damages him, his age progression means speed regression.So what do we do to plan for the future?Who is the next Buxton? 

 

It is so sad to see his career punctuated by so many IL events. 

The concussion history is worrisome, especially with his propensity to run into walls.They are a much better team with him out there both on offense and defense.Hopefully they can keep him on the field often enough to take advantage of his talents.  

Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Jul 24 2019 05:32 AM

I'm not going to pretend that he hasn't been an asset this year, but let's not use record in games he missed as the evidence. He wasn't the only one on the DL during that timeframe. He's not even the only one on the DL now...

 

Yes, we're better with him in center and Max in the corner.. no question about that. I don't think, however, he's quite as good as implied here.

    • jkcarew likes this

Is Buxton the key for the Twins winning way?

 

Paul Molitor says Yes

Photo
SgtSchmidt11
Jul 24 2019 06:59 AM

I know some have advocated for a Buxton extension, but the concussions are exactly why I wouldn't if I were the Twins.Go year to year with him.

 

I really wish he'd maybe consider his own health a little bit more.You have to appreciate how hard he plays, but it's tough watching him risk his body and health so much.

    • Steve Lein likes this

 

I'm not going to pretend that he hasn't been an asset this year, but let's not use record in games he missed as the evidence. He wasn't the only one on the DL during that timeframe. He's not even the only one on the DL now...

This. Record while in/out of the lineup is next to meaningless in itself. He's OPS+'ing 107 (we'll take it!) in the 9 hole. We're much better defensively in the outfield with him. The outfield defense hasn't been a primary contributing factor is losses.

    • diehardtwinsfan likes this
Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Jul 24 2019 07:03 AM

 

This. Record while in/out of the lineup is next to meaningless in itself. He's OPS+'ing 107 (we'll take it!) in the 9 hole. We're much better defensively in the outfield with him. The outfield defense hasn't been a primary contributing factor is losses.

yeah... again.. no question he's an asset. Right now though, our infield defense has been pretty bad and our bull pen is starting to fall apart. Our offense could definitely use a bit more on base, and he's certainly an upgrade over Cave/Marwin.

 

I know some have advocated for a Buxton extension, but the concussions are exactly why I wouldn't if I were the Twins.Go year to year with him.

 

I really wish he'd maybe consider his own health a little bit more.You have to appreciate how hard he plays, but it's tough watching him risk his body and health so much.

You can always add insurance to a long-term contract.

    • SgtSchmidt11 likes this

 

yeah... again.. no question he's an asset. Right now though, our infield defense has been pretty bad and our bull pen is starting to fall apart. Our offense could definitely use a bit more on base, and he's certainly an upgrade over Cave/Marwin.

Actually, OBP-wise, Buxton doesn't help. Both Cave and Gonzalez have better OBP's. Offensively, Buxton is 'more-of-the-same'...doubles and HR and low OBP.

 

Twins team OPS+ is 119, Buxton's is 107. Team's OBP is .339, Buxton's is .308. But, we agree, he makes the bottom of the order better overall...and was showing signs of taking further steps.

    • LA VIkes Fan and jz7233 like this
Photo
SgtSchmidt11
Jul 24 2019 10:56 AM

 

You can always add insurance to a long-term contract.

Right, but you are gonna still count on him to be your normal CF, but if he ends up going out ala Morneau (very possible for him), it's gonna hurt because you were counting on him to be effective/present.

 

I'm very concerned that he will decline much like Morneau, and generally just become ineffective even when present.

 

Like I said, I would only go year to year (MAYBE 2 year deals at the max) with Buck.


Similar Articles


by Cody Christie , 28 Apr 2020
Photo


by John Bonnes , 06 Apr 2020
Photo


by Steve Lein , 31 Mar 2020
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 17 Mar 2020
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 13 Mar 2020
Photo