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Article: What's the Plan: Byron Buxton

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:08 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...an-Byron-Buxton

#2 Seth Stohs

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:33 PM

I didn't know you were writing this tonight, but maybe 10 minutes ago, I posted this on twitter:

Current Seth Projections: Miguel Sano -May 15, 2014,. Eddie Rosario -June 15, 2014. Alex Meyer -June 15, 2014. Byron Buxton - July 28, 2014.


I think that's pretty aggressive for Buxton, and you're saying first half, which could be a month or so earlier. I'd actually be surprised if he's up before the All Star break, but I really believe late July is a realistic possibility.

#3 Oxtung

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 10:19 PM

Nick I usually enjoy your pieces but I have to say I am a little disappointed in some aspects of this article. There is a definite "the Twins are slow in promoting" slant here and while that might be a deserved critique of the organization in general, it just doesn't hold in this case.

The Twins have moved Buxton just as quickly as either J.Upton or Trout. Here are their games played at each level before reaching the majors and the age they were drafted.

[TABLE="class: grid, width: 500"]
[TR]
[TD][/TD]
[TD]Rk
[/TD]
[TD]A
[/TD]
[TD]A+
[/TD]
[TD]AA
[/TD]
[TD]AAA
[/TD]
[TD]Total
[/TD]
[TD]Age
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Upton
[/TD]
[TD]0
[/TD]
[TD]113
[/TD]
[TD]32
[/TD]
[TD]71
[/TD]
[TD]0
[/TD]
[TD]216
[/TD]
[TD]17
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Trout
[/TD]
[TD]39
[/TD]
[TD]86
[/TD]
[TD]50
[/TD]
[TD]91
[/TD]
[TD]0
[/TD]
[TD]266
[/TD]
[TD]17
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Buxton
[/TD]
[TD]48
[/TD]
[TD]68
[/TD]
[TD]55*
[/TD]
[TD]??
[/TD]
[TD]??
[/TD]
[TD]163
[/TD]
[TD]18
[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
*Includes 8 games yet to be played in 2013

As you can see Buxton is on the same promotion path. If he is promoted after the first half of the 2014 season to the majors, as you suggest, he will be right on their arrival schedule. Trout made his debut July 8th and Upton August 2nd. As you can see the only difference is the age at which they were drafted not how quickly they have moved. If Buxton was young when he was drafted he would have had the opportunity to reach the majors as a teenager just as Trout and Upton did.

Let's just all hope he follows Trout's path once he gets there!

#4 mike wants wins

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 10:36 PM

Sign Ellsbury.....put him center until Buxton is up, then move him to left. Put Arcia in right or first. Eventually another OF will be ready if not Arcia.

#5 Nick Nelson

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:02 AM

There is a definite "the Twins are slow in promoting" slant here and while that might be a deserved critique of the organization in general, it just doesn't hold in this case.

I'm not seeing how there is a "definite" slant to that effect. I'm fine with the way they have handled them. Pointing out that some other similar prospects reached higher levels at a younger age is not a critique, it's just a fact.

The point I was driving at was that players of this caliber tend to reach the major leagues very, very quickly.

#6 Larsbars08

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:28 AM

The only real difference between Buxton and Trout's career trajectories, is that Trout was drafted at age 17.5, whereas Buxton was nearly 18.5. Even though their career paths have been eerily similar, Trout was roughly a year less physically mature when at the same stage as Buxton. It doesn't make Buxton's performance any less impressive, but it does show how incredible Mike Trout is. I would probably guess that Buxton is less likely to hit 30 home runs every year, like Trout is capable of, but is more likely to stay a prodigious base stealer, and defensive wizard longer than Trout will be.

On another note, sometimes I feel like Mac from Always Sunny in Philadelphia, talking and thinking about these guys physiques.

#7 jokin

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:40 AM

Those are the kinds of numbers you put up in a video game when the difficulty setting is too low. Buxton is as out of place in this league as he was in the last.


That sums it quite nicely.

Hey Terry Ryan! Want to know a great way to get a Sellout for a Noon, Thursday afternoon game on September 12 against Oakland? Call up Miguel Sano.

Want to know how to get back-to-back Sellouts, for a Friday night on September 13 game at 7:10PM against Tampa Bay? Call up Byron Buxton.

#8 orangevening

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 06:23 AM

That sums it quite nicely.

Hey Terry Ryan! Want to know a great way to get a Sellout for a Noon, Thursday afternoon game on September 12 against Oakland? Call up Miguel Sano.

Want to know how to get back-to-back Sellouts, for a Friday night on September 13 game at 7:10PM against Tampa Bay? Call up Byron Buxton.


Then watch a entire fan base deflate as both struggle Hicks-like and are sent back down. Being a GM is a tough, tough job and bringing these two up is going to be a tough, tough decision. A lot is riding on bringing our top prospects up and not just Sano and Buxton.

#9 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 06:44 AM

That sums it quite nicely.

Hey Terry Ryan! Want to know a great way to get a Sellout for a Noon, Thursday afternoon game on September 12 against Oakland? Call up Miguel Sano.

Want to know how to get back-to-back Sellouts, for a Friday night on September 13 game at 7:10PM against Tampa Bay? Call up Byron Buxton.


Miguel Sano, maybe... But I'm not sold on creating potential 40 man issues when you can punt on the decision until next March.

But Buxton, no way... Moving a guy from A+ to the MLB is a good way to crush his confidence and screw with his head. Promote him aggressively, sure... But promote him intelligently. A, A+, AA, then AAA or MLB depending on how he does in AA.

Making moves based on what will placate a fan base is a good way to dig the franchise a deep hole and get yourself fired. I'm still convinced this is going to be the ultimate outcome of the Shields/Myers trade. The Royals are hamstrung (hey look, Myers has a 131 OPS+ in Tampa), they're going to miss the playoffs, and Moore is not going to be the GM for much longer because of impatience, methinks.

#10 CharacterGroove

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:08 AM

If it's me calling the shots, Buxton plays in AFL this fall, and starts in AA next spring. If his numbers are Buxton-like after 100 at bats or so, you start getting the big squad ready for the 2-step jump.

Nobody on the current MLB roster should get in the way.

#11 mike wants wins

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:13 AM

Brock, there have to be 5 guys you could cut from teh 40 man right now, and Sano will be on it next year, so you need to plan for that anyway, but ya, I don't see them doing that at all. Not their style. They didn't call one prospect up last year (of course, that could be because the AAA roster is/was barren of prospects).

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#12 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:14 AM

If it's me calling the shots, Buxton plays in AFL this fall, and starts in AA next spring. If his numbers are Buxton-like after 100 at bats or so, you start getting the big squad ready for the 2-step jump.

Nobody on the current MLB roster should get in the way.


I'd go one step further and make room for him. Willingham and Doumit need to be on the block this winter. Trade at least one of them because the team simply does not have the room for Hicks, Arcia, and Buxton right now and it's a huge waste to let guys like Doumit and Willingham ride the pine most of the time.

#13 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:47 AM

Brock, there have to be 5 guys you could cut from teh 40 man right now, and Sano will be on it next year, so you need to plan for that anyway, but ya, I don't see them doing that at all. Not their style. They didn't call one prospect up last year (of course, that could be because the AAA roster is/was barren of prospects).


There are definitely guys who could be cut from the 40-man but honestly, I don't see it as a pressing need in September of 2013. Give Sano the offseason to rest and get ready to potentially start the 2014 season in Minnesota.

On the other hand, it wouldn't break my heart to see him on the 40-man roster in a week, either. I'm okay with either decision, really.

#14 troyhobbs

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:48 AM

I'd go one step further and make room for him. Willingham and Doumit need to be on the block this winter. Trade at least one of them because the team simply does not have the room for Hicks, Arcia, and Buxton right now and it's a huge waste to let guys like Doumit and Willingham ride the pine most of the time.


I agree and would handle off season roster decisions like Buxton will be up mid season 2014

#15 AlexTrebek

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 08:12 AM

There are definitely guys who could be cut from the 40-man but honestly, I don't see it as a pressing need in September of 2013. Give Sano the offseason to rest and get ready to potentially start the 2014 season in Minnesota. On the other hand, it wouldn't break my heart to see him on the 40-man roster in a week, either. I'm okay with either decision, really.

Aren't we putting the cart before the horse?

#16 AlexTrebek

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 08:14 AM

The only real difference between Buxton and Trout's career trajectories, is that Trout was drafted at age 17.5, whereas Buxton was nearly 18.5. Even though their career paths have been eerily similar, Trout was roughly a year less physically mature when at the same stage as Buxton. It doesn't make Buxton's performance any less impressive, but it does show how incredible Mike Trout is. I would probably guess that Buxton is less likely to hit 30 home runs every year, like Trout is capable of, but is more likely to stay a prodigious base stealer, and defensive wizard longer than Trout will be. On another note, sometimes I feel like Mac from Always Sunny in Philadelphia, talking and thinking about these guys physiques.

None of these variables will matter if the constants are still TR, Gardy ect.

#17 AlexTrebek

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 08:15 AM

Wowsers

#18 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:33 AM

I say give him half a season in AA next year (just enough to push service time back a year). Then when he's done crushing the Eastern League, bring him up to the majors for the last half.

#19 messier

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:39 AM

I say give him half a season in AA next year (just enough to push service time back a year). Then when he's done crushing the Eastern League, bring him up to the majors for the last half.

Totally concur I just hope I don't have to watch Hicks hit left handed for half a season. I'd rather watch Clete and that's sad.

#20 jokin

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:43 AM

Miguel Sano, maybe... But I'm not sold on creating potential 40 man issues when you can punt on the decision until next March.

But Buxton, no way... Moving a guy from A+ to the MLB is a good way to crush his confidence and screw with his head. Promote him aggressively, sure... But promote him intelligently. A, A+, AA, then AAA or MLB depending on how he does in AA.

Making moves based on what will placate a fan base is a good way to dig the franchise a deep hole and get yourself fired. I'm still convinced this is going to be the ultimate outcome of the Shields/Myers trade. The Royals are hamstrung (hey look, Myers has a 131 OPS+ in Tampa), they're going to miss the playoffs, and Moore is not going to be the GM for much longer because of impatience, methinks.


Do we really have 40 indispensable players on the 40-man that requires additional punting? TR already punted once on the 2013 season when he essentially stopped signing and trading for MLB players last December. Parting ways from the 40-man with the likes of (one or two of the spare OF corps): Thomas/Ramirez/Mastroianni, Bernier, Hermsen, De Vries, Roenicke should hardly be the cause of teeth-gnashing. Plus Morneau's spot eventually opens up and perhaps more veterans, as well, in the offseason.

Buxton can play for 15-20 games in September and still start out in AA next April. I sincerely doubt that such a special, driven talent would let those 15-20 games crush his confidence should he fail to meet his own expectations and nothing is going to crush Sano's confidence.

And I'm definitely not advocating for the placating of fans, I'm offering an easy way to folllow up on the Free National Pub from sensational articles like the one from Sports Illustrated and raking in some additional revenue during the dog days of the lost 2013 season on the way to the third straight 90+ loss year- while offering glimmers of very legitimate hope on the way, and furthermore, generating additional season ticket sales for 2014 (generating this type of feel-good optimism about the near-future is not placating, it's marketing). Playing Sano and Buxton is not placating fans or potentially digging Terry Ryan's grave. And playing Buxton and Sano wouldn't represent impatience, a Septemer call-up shouldn't guarantee anyone's spot on the 2014 roster- heck, even Mike Trout bounced back and forth from the minors and majors before he finally stuck for good.

Now on the other hand, Ryan is pretty fire-resistant if not completely fire-proof (as he apparently answers to no one except the guy who fired his predecessor, not for his demonstrated incompetence, but on the chance that he might be inclined to go a few bucks over "budget", whatever that might be).....but...having said that.... if Ryan were to go and do something really Moore-level stupid and trade either of these two for a 2-year rental of an "ace", even Jim Pohlad might sit up and take notice of the pitchforks and torches in front of One Twins Way. Terry Ryan is a lot of things, but he isn't stupid.

Look, I know they won't do it, but they should at least consider it as a potential win-win arrangement. As I said, Ryan isn't stupid, but I'm afraid that his past comments like "I'm 53 but look 70 for a reason" and about how modern GMs have to bring more dynamism to the job than he can still offer, suggests that making these moves is just not worth the small risk taken by him in doing so, nor the time and effort spent.

Edited by jokin, 26 August 2013 - 09:47 AM.


#21 jokin

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:59 AM

Then watch a entire fan base deflate as both struggle Hicks-like and are sent back down. Being a GM is a tough, tough job and bringing these two up is going to be a tough, tough decision. A lot is riding on bringing our top prospects up and not just Sano and Buxton.


I'll say it again, and again. Sano and Buxton aren't Hicks.

Mike Trout was sent back down, neither he nor the fan base deflated when he struggled. Our fan base has failed to deflate this year thus far over some 80% of the season, despite another 90+ loss season and frequently putting some lineups out in the field that upon which, the likes of Hosken Powell, Butch Huskey and Terry Tiffee would have been the stars.

#22 ashburyjohn

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 10:19 AM

And I'm definitely not advocating for the placating of fans, I'm offering an easy way to folllow up on the Free National Pub from sensational articles like the one from Sports Illustrated and raking in some additional revenue during the dog days of the lost 2013 season on the way to the third straight 90+ loss year- while offering glimmers of very legitimate hope on the way, and furthermore, generating additional season ticket sales for 2014 (generating this type of feel-good optimism about the near-future is not placating, it's marketing).


What you are describing is marketing. So if the choice is between promoting Buxton for "baseball reasons" or for "marketing reasons", it's splitting hairs whether someone else chose to use the phrase "placating fans" to really mean the latter. The question being raised is whether to let the latter trump the former.

#23 jokin

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 10:24 AM

What you are describing is marketing. So if the choice is between promoting Buxton for "baseball reasons" or for "marketing reasons", it's splitting hairs whether someone else chose to use the phrase "placating fans" to really mean the latter. The question being raised is whether to let the latter trump the former.


That's why I said "marketing" in closing. Brock's line of thinking was something to the effect of a Moore-like panic or desperation for making the move, ie, not well-thought out in full. In baseball and revenue sports in general, it's always about both entertainment and baseball development. I think my suggested course of action takes both points of view into account, and suggests that a move like this would be bold, dynamic, but not panicky or unfounded in its theoretical underpinnings.

Edited by jokin, 26 August 2013 - 10:28 AM.


#24 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 10:36 AM

Buxton needs to play some AA ball. Period. An A+ jump to the majors is irresponsible. Could he hack it? Quite possibly. Even Sano took a little time to adjust to AA. The jump from A+ to AA is often the 2nd most difficult jump to make in baseball. The jump from AAA to the majors is the largest. A+ to AA he's facing guys that are 1-3 or 4 years older, more physically mature, but also more baseball mature. He would likely get by on talent alone for a while.

Jumping to the majors, he's facing the men that are both physically and baseball IQ wise far superior to him. Guys like Verlander, Scherzer, Sanchez and Porcello are not just talented, but they are veterans. The baseball intellect of these guys can only come from experience. Talent alone will show up in spurts. He will need to really need to be mentally and emotionally ready if a call up comes in MAy or June.

#25 nicksaviking

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 10:45 AM

I'd call him up and build his confidence if the Twins were playing a series against a bunch of low velocity, junkball tossing, AAAA starters. Trying to think.....Doh.

#26 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 11:18 AM

That's why I said "marketing" in closing. Brock's line of thinking was something to the effect of a Moore-like panic or desperation for making the move, ie, not well-thought out in full. In baseball and revenue sports in general, it's always about both entertainment and baseball development. I think my suggested course of action takes both points of view into account, and suggests that a move like this would be bold, dynamic, but not panicky or unfounded in its theoretical underpinnings.


Which is fair enough, I simply think that the development cycle should be based entirely on the player's needs and fan "need" shouldn't be a factor. The fans will get 6+ years of Buxton and I don't see the point in giving them 2-3 weeks right now just for the sake of doing it.

As for Sano, as I said earlier "I'm fine with either decision". I really am... If Ryan wants him here in September, I'm fine with that. It requires 40-man finagling but nothing that should be terribly difficult to do. If he wants to see him in winter ball and prep him for 2014, I'm fine with that, too. We're going to see the guy very soon. Whether that is now or in seven months doesn't bother me too much.

#27 tju22

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:19 PM

Let's take a deep breath here people. Buxton's had an incredible year but hasn't even played in the AFL, which seems to be a right of passage for all top prospects.

I also used to hate how slow it seemed the Twins moved prospects but have started to change my tune. Bringing up guys at 23-24 allows them to keep a guy under team control through 29-30 essentially the first half of their peak vs 21-22 where a guy is hitting free agency right as he hits his peak.

Obviously that can't factor in with a potential superstar, but it has allowed for the Twins to get cheap production out of players while letting other teams overpay in free agency for 2 years of prime production and then decline.

I got off-topic but I say let him tear up AA for a month or two, then AAA for a month, and if he's still producing, he'll force his way onto the roster.

#28 CharacterGroove

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:23 PM

I agree that appeasing the fan base (or marketing for that matter) shouldn't be a consideration. It's all about what's best for the prospect's development, which with Buxton, obviously has a direct correlation with what's best for the Twins. Everything else falls into place after that.

#29 mike wants wins

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:47 PM

29-30 is not the peak, that's 1970s thinking......actually, the peak years are younger. There are many articles on line about elite talents, and when they should be up....and 23/4 is LATE for elite players.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#30 Chance

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:58 PM

I agree with Jokin on this. I don't think he should be rushed and I'm not impatiently waiting for his MLB debut. However, I think he could really benefit for a couple weeks in the majors in September, and I also agree with Jokin, again, those few weeks will not damage him in anyway. Next season he can start in AA. There is no rule stating that, if you ended the year on the major league roster, you must start the next season on the major league roster. Let him see what the majors are about, and then in the spring, management can judge based on the previous September and his ST if he could break camp with the big club. I'm not saying it is going to happen or that he will continue to rake but if he adjusts quickly to the MLB like he did at A and A+ than what is the point of him getting sent to AA or AAA? Just because that is the norm? Buxton is the kind of player like Joe that you sign and keep for most if not all of his career. A year difference in team control should make no difference. Again, if he doesn't adjust quick there is no harm in him going to AA to start next season. But give him a chance to show if he's ready now.

I also like to say that I am completely confused by people's shock that Hicks struggled. It was well stated by most everyone that he was going to be near awful if not awful in the majors before the season started. He has a history of taking a longer time than most to adjust to a new level/challenge. We all new this yet for some reason people didn't seem to expect it once the season started. He should have just stayed up and struggled. He confidence wasn't going to get any worse. He has gone through this at every level, now it starts all over in AAA. That might hurt his confidence even more than letting him stay with the Twins.