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Buxton Replacement? Don't bother, he's already here....

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#41 bighat

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 02:47 PM

 

Such a weird dynamic on threads so far... It's almost like people want Buxton to be an epic failure.

He's pretty much been an epic failure, alas.  Twins fans have been heavily emotionally invested in his success for the past 3-4 years.  Buxton didn't deliver last year.  He was given a pass by everyone.  Buxton's start to this year has been historically bad.  He is the worst hitter in the entire major leagues right now.  Not "near the bottom", not "below average" - the worst.  Period.  Buxton's not just performing below expectations, his performance has been gut-wrenchingly horrible.  I think patience has worn thin and rightfully so.

 

Do any of us want this?  No.  But some of us are starting to accept the fact that Buxton might be a bust. 

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#42 HitInAPinch

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 02:47 PM

 

Such a weird dynamic on threads so far... It's almost like people want Buxton to be an epic failure.

Well, Van, not I.  You may recall the many times I have posted about Boston's support of Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. during their development.  

 

http://www.startribu...rded/383534181/

 

But there's still the issue:  What happened in this early season that didn't carry over from last September?  

 

http://www.1500espn....september-real/

 

Checkout the pitchers he hit home runs off.  Not too shabby.  

 

Quote:  "However, if you believe that his minor league track record projects him to be a high-impact offensive player, we may look back at September 2016 not as an outlier, but the beginning of Buxton as an elite top-of-the-order hitter capable of impacting the game with his power, patience and speed."

 

So again, what happened between last year and this?  He really sounded like he had it figured out:

 

http://www.startribu...ason/411603295/

 

I think it behooves the Twins to at least contemplate next steps.  At the very least, they need to get a backup outfielder who's a better option than what they currently have.  And if it should come to it, Max Kepler would be a solid alternative in center.  

 

 

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It's not my fault !


#43 Vanimal46

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 02:56 PM

 

He's pretty much been an epic failure, alas.  Twins fans have been heavily emotionally invested in his success for the past 3-4 years.  Buxton didn't deliver last year.  He was given a pass by everyone.  Buxton's start to this year has been historically bad.  He is the worst hitter in the entire major leagues right now.  Not "near the bottom", not "below average" - the worst.  Period.  Buxton's not just performing below expectations, his performance has been gut-wrenchingly horrible.  I think patience has worn thin and rightfully so.

 

Do any of us want this?  No.  But some of us are starting to accept the fact that Buxton might be a bust. 

 

That's fine. I'm not ready to wave the white flag, nor am I ready to give any ultimatums that he has to improve by April 31st or he's sent to AAA. Just want the guy to get consistent PA's and see what happens. 

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#44 Lonestar

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 03:09 PM

That's fine. I'm not ready to wave the white flag, nor am I ready to give any ultimatums that he has to improve by April 31st or he's sent to AAA. Just want the guy to get consistent PA's and see what happens.

FWIW, I didn't say give him an ultimatum. Buxton seems to have a fragile psyche andultimatums would likely be bad for that psyche. But I wouldn't let him flounder for 3 months either. That would be worse for his psyche. He rebooted in Rochester last year and did fine. The second time.
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#45 bighat

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 05:54 PM

 

Here's a fun Buxton stat: He has struck out 49 times since the last time Mookie Betts struck out. Betts hasn't struck out in 28 games. That's pretty incredible, and it says more about Betts than Buxton, but I thought I'd just mention it here.

And Betts is just 24 years old.  Francisco Lindor is 23.  Rougned Odor is 23.  Carlos Correia down in Houston is 22. These are legit, All-Star caliber players who have already proven themselves.  

 

Buxton is 23. 

 

I am all for letting Bux keep trying here.  Hope he succeeds, just like the rest of you.  But when he comes up and strikes out with 2 on and 2 out in a close game (again), it's hard not to be extremely frustrated.  

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#46 The_Phantom

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:32 AM

Yeah the idea that Buxton getting earned criticism is fans *wanting* him to be a miserable failure is asinine. 

 

Those of us that are being critical of him (I am more than happy to lead that charge, I think he's overdue for a demotion, mostly to be actually taught about situational baseball) actually very much want him to succeed. I bought into the hype that he was going to be the next big thing not only for the Twins but for the league. But 15 games into the season and his K/AB ratio is still about twice as high as his OPS... there's some writing on the wall. 

 

The biggest problem isn't that he's in a slump. The problem is he's trying to just power his way out of his slump. A few days ago the two guys in front of him both struck out on 3 pitches. A good hitter would think "this guy has nasty stuff" and shorten up to make contact. Buxton took 3 huge uppercut swings. He had an interview during the game the other day about how much fun september was and how he enjoys playing the game like a kid where he can just dive around the outfield and "See how far he can hit the ball". 

 

The last few days he's done things a little bit differently. I don't know if he was told to do this, but he came up with two outs and men on first and second and he decided to try to bunt. The problem was he just bunted right back up the middle to the pitcher for an easy out. While i was glad to see him not swinging for the fences, a weak bunt wasn't really the right choice in that situation either. 

 

It's not just a slump. He has issues mentally in the game right now. 

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#47 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:39 AM

 

The last few days he's done things a little bit differently. I don't know if he was told to do this, but he came up with two outs and men on first and second and he decided to try to bunt. The problem was he just bunted right back up the middle to the pitcher for an easy out. While i was glad to see him not swinging for the fences, a weak bunt wasn't really the right choice in that situation either. 

I think the bunt was a fine choice, it simply didn't work. Bunt attempts, even with Buxton's speed, are not going to work 100% or even 75% of the time.

 

But if Buxton was trying to reach base safely and can reach base in 40-50% of his bunt attempts, I'll take that and be very happy with the outcome.

 

If Buxton hit that bunt right back at the pitcher because he was trying to sacrifice, I'd consider strangling Byron.

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#48 Sconnie

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:41 AM

I'm not panicking....but I am worried. And if you're not, then you probably are trying too hard to keep the rose-colored glasses on.

It's time to be worried and it's time for the organization to make it their top priority. (Something I hope is already happening.)

i would hope that developing Buxton into a major league hitter has been priority 1 for a few years now.
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#49 bighat

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 11:07 AM

 

 

 

If Buxton hit that bunt right back at the pitcher because he was trying to sacrifice, I'd consider strangling Byron.

 

He wasn't trying to sacrifice, there were 2 outs.  He was aware of that.  Bux is in a mental funk of the highest order, he knew he couldn't strike out so he chose the easiest way to put the bat on the ball.  Not exactly what you want out of your "potential game-changing superstar".  The scary part is that most of us were just fine with that choice he made!  Yeeps!  

 

Here's hoping he gets a hit or 2 today. 


#50 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 11:21 AM

 

He wasn't trying to sacrifice, there were 2 outs.

Ah, good catch. I watched the game but didn't recall the specifics of the bunt.

 

I'm less of a fan of bunting with two outs, as it's not significantly different than a walk (excepting the occasional squeeze play, which may be the most exciting play in baseball).


#51 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 11:37 AM

Bunting with 2 outs and 2 on is a sign of a lack of confidence IMHO. He was afraid of striking out agian after he got one strike and just wanted to put the ball in play.  Hopefully someone sat him down and said "swing away in that situation, we believe in you" or something like that. I actually think he's coming around a little these last couple of days. He just needs a few hits to get some confidence. 

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#52 LimestoneBaggy

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 12:22 PM

So I was down in at Spring Training two or three years ago (I can't remember which), and Buxton was out signing autographs. My boys (at the time about 4 and 6) and I hurried down and got in line. We just got to the front and Buxton was walking off when a nice woman asked him if he would kindly take a few more seconds and sign the boys' hats (I had nothing for him to sign, just wanted the boys to get a chance to see a player up close and get an autograph). He stopped about 10 feet into his jog away, turned around, and came back to sign the boys's hats. You wouldn't believe how happy they were. 

 

Moral of the story: Absolutely nothing, I just wanted to say something nice about him. Hope he figures out the hitting.

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#53 h2oface

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:29 PM

Buxton is not mentally strong. Actions are screaming at anybody paying attention. I sure hope they don't draft high schooler Hunter Greene. I have been watching 3 of his games so far in Sherman Oaks @ Notre Dame HS. The mound there is at least 15 inches high. I fear another immature headcase. Buxton head is a mess.

#54 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:34 PM

 

Buxton is not mentally strong.

Indeed. People who become part of the top 1% in the world at their particular craft often lack mental toughness.

 

Now let me shuffle off to my entirely middle class life, comfortable in the knowledge that it took true grit to get there.

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#55 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:37 PM

Indeed. People who become part of the top 1% in the world at their particular craft often lack mental toughness.

Now let me shuffle off to my entirely middle class life, comfortable in the knowledge that it took true grit to get there.


And high school mound height directly correlates with maturity and mental toughness. You learn something new every day.
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#56 Doomtints

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:44 PM

This thread is getting strange quickly.

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#57 Jham

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:22 PM

The game doesn't look fun to Buxton right now. He's better than he's showing now. But September was a mirage. Never showed the ability to consistently make contact. Personally, I think molitor has ruined way more good hitters than he's helped assuming he's behind the "shorten up and let the ball get deep" mentality.

Edited by Jham, 20 April 2017 - 08:22 PM.


#58 jimbo92107

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:37 PM

As Harold Reynolds pointed out, Byron Buxton is not following the baseball all the way into the bat. This dead-simple fundamental habit should be part of Buxton's practice routine so that he doesn't have to think about it in games. Last season it was Buxton's puzzling lack of expertise while attempting to execute bunts, and his odd lack of skill stealing bases. He got a little better at both those things. This season it is watching the ball. 

 

It pains me to bring this up, but it is possible that this enthusiastic, earnest, hard-working young man is neither the sharpest bulb in the box nor the brightest tool in the shed. If so, his baseball career will not be like a rocket taking off, but more like the gradual whittling of a daft but talented hayseed sculptor, carefully carving a perfect cow over several years. 

Edited by jimbo92107, 20 April 2017 - 08:37 PM.

Pro tip: Try pitching to a little less contact.


#59 LimestoneBaggy

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:19 AM

 

As Harold Reynolds pointed out, Byron Buxton is not following the baseball all the way into the bat. This dead-simple fundamental habit should be part of Buxton's practice routine so that he doesn't have to think about it in games. Last season it was Buxton's puzzling lack of expertise while attempting to execute bunts, and his odd lack of skill stealing bases. He got a little better at both those things. This season it is watching the ball. 

 

It pains me to bring this up, but it is possible that this enthusiastic, earnest, hard-working young man is neither the sharpest bulb in the box nor the brightest tool in the shed. If so, his baseball career will not be like a rocket taking off, but more like the gradual whittling of a daft but talented hayseed sculptor, carefully carving a perfect cow over several years. 

 

He's hit .302 .380 .501 .881 in the minors. I don't buy anything with the following the ball mentions. I'm with Parker to a degree that he's closed himself off to inside pitching, but then look at this heat map....

 

Screen_Shot_2017_04_12_at_5.45.23_PM.jpg Yeah, that' bad. I don't know what's causing this, but he's starting to remind me of Billy Beane's career arch (not defensively, of course). Beane's minor league career numbers (.262 .317 .408 .725) and I can draw some similarities. Right now, I'd have sweet Drew Butera pinch hitting for him in the third inning.

 

I'm on the train with sending him back to AAA to build up the confidence and leaving him there for a long, long time. This season isn't worth it to me. If he has to figure out how to hit at the MLB level, I'm still comfortable with him doing that next year (I'm guessing the Twins are still a bubble team at that point). 

 

 

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#60 jimbo92107

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:11 AM

 

He's hit .302 .380 .501 .881 in the minors. I don't buy anything with the following the ball mentions. I'm with Parker to a degree that he's closed himself off to inside pitching, but then look at this heat map....

 

Screen_Shot_2017_04_12_at_5.45.23_PM.jpg Yeah, that' bad. I don't know what's causing this, but he's starting to remind me of Billy Beane's career arch (not defensively, of course). Beane's minor league career numbers (.262 .317 .408 .725) and I can draw some similarities. Right now, I'd have sweet Drew Butera pinch hitting for him in the third inning.

 

I'm on the train with sending him back to AAA to build up the confidence and leaving him there for a long, long time. This season isn't worth it to me. If he has to figure out how to hit at the MLB level, I'm still comfortable with him doing that next year (I'm guessing the Twins are still a bubble team at that point). 

It's also possible that Buxton has gotten into the the classic bad habit of looking ahead at his wonderful hits before they happen. It's a daily struggle to keep turning your nose down and to the right when all the glory is up and to the left. I know - I missed tons of glorious hits that way!

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Pro tip: Try pitching to a little less contact.




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