Jump to content

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

The Forums

Game Thread "Bo" Twins vs. A's 6:10pm cdt 7/2...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:05 PM
Once upon a time, in the '80s, there was this athlete named Bo Jackson, no relation to Hugh, so far as i know (and i know pretty far*) An...

Matt Magill DFAd

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:01 PM
The Minnesota Twins just announced that RH RP Matt Magill has been DFAd. Kohl Stewart recalled, likely in a new role.    

Jose Berrios' reaction to the Morin for cash consider...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:02 PM
So, pretty interesting to see this on Twitter ... They just want to get money ...

Morin DFAed

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:33 PM
https://www.mlbtrade...gnment-dfa.html   No corresponding move, no trade appears imminent.   *scratches head*  

Mejia Claimed by Angels

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:21 PM
Just tweeted out. It will be interesting to see if he turns it around

Photo

Minnesota’s First Half MVP

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 08 July 2019 · 961 views

minnesota twins byron buxton rocco baldelli
As the door closes on the first half of the 2019 Major League Baseball season the Minnesota Twins sit in sole possession of first place in the AL Central Division. They have a 5.5 game lead over the favorited Cleveland Indians and find themselves with Postseason odds north of 96%. This drastic turnaround is because of the work both Rocco Baldelli and the front office has put in, but one player on the field has made an incredible impact as well.

After being cast aside by plenty of Twins fans due to failed expectations thus far in his career Byron Buxton has emerged as a national presence. Losing virtually all of 2018 due to injury, Buxton returned this year with plenty to prove. Still just 25 years-old it was undoubtedly weighing on him to make this the breakout campaign. The Athletic’s Dan Hayes provided some great insight into Buck’s offseason and it appeared those words had some serious weight behind them.

To this point Buxton has played in 73 of the Twins 89 games. He has missed some time needing an IL stint, but his 2.5 fWAR ranks third among hitters on the club. In over 235 at bats he has an .816 OPS, will hit double-digit homers, and is on pace to set career highs virtually across the board. Offensively Buxton has arrived. Likely never projecting as an average hitter, inching closer to .270 with sneaky power is where he’ll ultimately settle in. Combining that with his defensive profile makes him an irreplaceable asset.

It’s because of that combination that naming anyone else the Twins first half MVP seems like a misstep. Buxton has been worth 10 DRS this year (2nd in the American League) and trails only Victor Robles and Kevin Kiermaier in Outs Above Average (10). He’s made more five-star outs than anyone in baseball and it’s visually obvious how impactful he is patrolling centerfield.

Even if Baldelli had better options to run out while Buxton was shelved, the ripple effect was always going to be felt. Max Kepler is in the midst of a breakout season as well, and defensively he’s been an incredible asset. Moving him to centerfield worked out wonderfully during Byron’s absence but you cannot simply replace someone as valuable as the Georgia native is.

Right now, the Twins have multiple All Stars, a pitching staff among the best in baseball, and a lineup that’s providing thump at an otherwise unseen pace. Despite all of that, it’s the 9-hole hitter that makes his presence felt most with his glove, who’s consistently provided a level of value propelling the Twins to their current standing.

We’ve waited nearly five years for this to all come together and seeing Byron do it on a team that’s now so good has been enjoyable to say the least.

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz

  • sloopjont likes this



Ted, I hadn't thought of Byron and his contributions in an MVP way until reading your opinion here. You have me re-thinking my original thought(s) that we actually discussed in another thread a few days ago.

Had Rosario not been de-railed the past 10 days or so, I'm not so sure he isn't the choice. Kepler, for what he has done in his breakout season m and Cruz, for what he has done performance wise as well as leadership he seems to have brought to this mostly young team, deserve consideration at least.

My choice is Polanco for his steady and sometimes excellent glove and performance with the bat. He solidifies the previous black hole at SS and has delivered time and again offensively. To me he's the spark plug of the offense. His entire season has been mostly consistent from game one.

But I simply can't deny what a healthy and developing Buxton has meant to this team. I would argue with you a bit about his ceiling, which I think he is just scraping at this time with fingertips. I do believe he is a .270-ish AVG hitter, but I think his power is more than just "sneaky". The doubles and triples will be there with power and speed, but I really believe he has legitimate 20HR power on a consistent basis with a little more maturation.

I think I'm sticking with Polanco as my choice for first half MVP, but you do have me second guessing myself for sure.
Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jul 08 2019 08:08 PM

 

I do believe he is a .270-ish AVG hitter, but I think his power is more than just "sneaky". The doubles and triples will be there with power and speed, but I really believe he has legitimate 20HR power on a consistent basis with a little more maturation

I didn't mean to come across as believing we're getting the 100th percentile of Buxton. I think he's been the most valuable to the Twins in the first half, but have suggested the exact combo you mentioned multiple times on Twitter. Byron at his best is a .260-.270 hitter with 20 bombs I think. That's incredible given his defensive abilities as well.

    • DocBauer likes this

If I'm voting for first-half MVP, i give my vote to 1) Polanco, 2) Kepler...

 

If I'm being asked which player is most valuable to the Twins, I can certainly agree with the choice for Buxton... though I think that they would struggle if Polancowas out for an extended period of time as well. 

    • DocBauer likes this

I didn't mean to come across as believing we're getting the 100th percentile of Buxton. I think he's been the most valuable to the Twins in the first half, but have suggested the exact combo you mentioned multiple times on Twitter. Byron at his best is a .260-.270 hitter with 20 bombs I think. That's incredible given his defensive abilities as well.


The SB aspect of the game seems to be disappearing, much to my chagrin. All the more disappointment in this age of HR balls where you may truly surprise teams. Like you, I believe Buxton's power will increase. But I wonder if his lack of running is predicated on staying healthy vs the power of the current team and just being OB.

If I'm voting for first-half MVP, i give my vote to 1) Polanco, 2) Kepler...
 
If I'm being asked which player is most valuable to the Twins, I can certainly agree with the choice for Buxton... though I think that they would struggle if Polancowas out for an extended period of time as well.


Which is why I still vote Polanco #1.

Despite a couple bad games recently, I think it's a disservice, and a little sad, All Star game be damned, that more people aren't looking at the amazing season Kepler is having. My goodness, 40 doubles. 40 HR 100+ RBI and R at the midpoint, projected?

WOW!
Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jul 09 2019 08:05 AM

 

If I'm voting for first-half MVP, i give my vote to 1) Polanco, 2) Kepler...

 

If I'm being asked which player is most valuable to the Twins, I can certainly agree with the choice for Buxton... though I think that they would struggle if Polancowas out for an extended period of time as well. 

His bat has certainly been incredible, but given the overall production of the lineup, I felt like Adrianza as a fill in is less of a dropoff than needing to turn to Cave or someone like that in the OF

Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jul 09 2019 08:06 AM

 

The SB aspect of the game seems to be disappearing, much to my chagrin. All the more disappointment in this age of HR balls where you may truly surprise teams. Like you, I believe Buxton's power will increase. But I wonder if his lack of running is predicated on staying healthy vs the power of the current team and just being OB.

Stolen bases have declined for quite some time. The true value of advancing a single base has never been lower, and it's why (in general) bunting is dumb. Unless you're stealing bases at an 80% clip or better, the result is a net loss.