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Steamer Projects Massive Season for Byron Buxton


FanGraphs’ Steamer projections foresee an elite season from the Twins’ newly-extended, star centerfielder.

The tool doesn’t project a rosy picture for the Twins’ rotation in 2022, as expected. It isn’t exceptionally high on many Twins pitching prospects, nor is it fired up about Mitch Garver. But one area that Twins fans can lean on is the Byron Buxton portion.

Steamer projects Buxton to hit .268/.316/.514 with 33 doubles, two triples, and 31 homers. Buxton’s projection of 6.5 defensive fWAR is the highest among all American League outfielders. His 4.3 fWAR ranks fourth among AL outfielders, behind only Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, and Luis Robert. 

Buxton is estimated to produce more value than J.T. Realmuto, George Springer, Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Chapman, Max Muncy, Giancarlo Stanton, and Tim Anderson. Buxton projects as the fourth most valuable player in the AL Central, behind José Ramírez, Robert, and Yasmani Grandal.

Most encouragingly, Steamer projects Buxton to appear in 131 games and head to the plate 567 times. Buxton’s projections are even more impressive considering the tool has him playing fewer games than everybody but Grandal among the top-30 in fWAR.

Buxton owns a 135 wRC+ over his last 187 games, and Steamer says he’ll surpass Franmil Reyes, Eloy Jiménez, Marcus Semien, Randy Arozarena, Austin Riley, and Nolan Arenado in 2022 wRC+. This offense all while Buxton roams centerfield at the highest level in baseball. 

None of this comes as a surprise. Buxton is an elite player, evidenced by his $100 million contract extension. It does give a glimpse of how an entire season of Buxton could look. Even these gaudy projections feel conservative for fans who’ve watched him over the last three years. 

Entering his age-28 season at peak physical shape, the very best could bubble for Buxton in just a few months. That possibility makes it more important for the Twins to invest in the 2022 team.

What do you think about Steamer’s 2022 projections for Byron Buxton? Comment below!

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I think if Buxton plays 130 games he should outperform these expectations. This article gets me fired up for 2022, even if the twins aren’t amazing, it would be fun to have a superstar on the team for 130 games

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"That possibility makes it more important for the Twins to invest in the 2022 team."

Right on. Buxton is primed to party in 2022 and your Option 2 is still very doable and the most effective course of action for now and the next five years.

First, the CBA needs some attention which requires a few humans to gather together in a room and talk with each other.

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Community Leader

And here lies the crux of the frustration with Buxton.  These projections seem completely reasonable given 130+ games played.  Hopefully he'll be able to put together one of those seasons and we all can sit back and enjoy the show.  

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It will be so fun this season to see Buxton cram it down all the doubter's throats. I predict these projections are way low. Bite on that for a while. Odds are his bad luck that he can't control will balance out, and the trend is for full seasons here on out with his tempered maturity. On the other hand, I think their projections on our pitching as it now stands, is very optimistic.

I just hope the season isn't limited by the Owners and Union.

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I'd like to know the predictions made by the owners, the player's union, and the American Medical Association so I can take the average. I sure hope he gets to play 131 games, that would be a really good summer. However it works out, Buck deserves to be on the field.

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Nice to have Buxton in the fold!  I hope your projections/ predictions prove true.  Thus far it's  a 7 year MLB career with an average of .248 and plays in less than half the games.  He's had a couple of great months I'm waiting for a full season with good results before announcing him a superstar.  I'm hoping to see his full potential unleashed.  He owes it to himself, the fans, and the owners who already have paid him millions and signed him to millions more.  Go Buxton!

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6 hours ago, h2oface said:

It will be so fun this season to see Buxton cram it down all the doubter's throats. I predict these projections are way low. Bite on that for a while. Odds are his bad luck that he can't control will balance out, and the trend is for full seasons here on out with his tempered maturity. On the other hand, I think their projections on our pitching as it now stands, is very optimistic.

I just hope the season isn't limited by the Owners and Union.

I bit on your comment, chewed on it for a while, spit it out, not bad, not bad.

 

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With all due respect, what does expertise does FanGraphs (or anyone else) have in predicting durability? As has been said hundreds of times in these virtual pages, if he's healthy, he's a brilliant defender and potentially a dominating hitter ... if he's healthy. If his health retains its recent form, you can divide the numbers in half.

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Buxton could appear in anywhere between 90-135 games but I expect him to hit higher than the projected average here. He may reach 500 plate appearances and hit 25-30 home runs. His defense is great but I wonder if using him as a DH sometimes would save his career some. Here's hoping for him playing in at least 130 games and being healthy all year. 

 

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22 hours ago, tony&rodney said:

"That possibility makes it more important for the Twins to invest in the 2022 team."

Right on. Buxton is primed to party in 2022 and your Option 2 is still very doable and the most effective course of action for now and the next five years.

First, the CBA needs some attention which requires a few humans to gather together in a room and talk with each other.

I'm all in for investing in the 2022 season. Punting is out of the question, we have 3 solid established, possible MVP candidates in Polanco, Buxton and Donaldson in 2022. Holes can be easily filled via trade and FA. Sacrificing 2022 in favor of hoarding redundant players & prospects in hope of our future prospects materialize seems fool hearty. I'd like our prospects eased into the lime-lite w/ confidence not thrust into the fire. 

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3 hours ago, Doctor Gast said:

I'm all in for investing in the 2022 season. Punting is out of the question, we have 3 solid established, possible MVP candidates in Polanco, Buxton and Donaldson in 2022. Holes can be easily filled via trade and FA. Sacrificing 2022 in favor of hoarding redundant players & prospects in hope of our future prospects materialize seems fool hearty. I'd like our prospects eased into the lime-lite w/ confidence not thrust into the fire. 

Agree totally. You hit is on the head when you mention the skills of Buxton, Polanco, and Donaldson and I want them to have a reason to play all year. I listened to the first Twins game in 1961 and it isn't likely for me to walk away but it would be really hard to be excited for a team sitting on such excellent players to stroll into the season with a bottom five rotation in all of baseball. It just isn't necessary. I don't get worked up about it really and still expect a free agent or two and a couple of trades to balance the team. I cannot understand those who see a rotation of Bundy, Dobnak, Pineda, Ryan, and Ober and then fold in the prospects as viable as it is too odd to comprehend. We will see what happens.

One aspect that is seemingly ignored in the ongoing lockout is the mental preparation that goes into getting primed for a season. This is nearly impossible to quantify and will be equally distributed in any event. One example, in my opinion, was the affect on Lance Lynn of being left behind for too long. These guys are professionals but also people and the psychological side of the game has importance to final production. The money seems pretty good for both sides and there should be a reasonable path to a positive conclusion. 

Two birds commented on - oh well. Twins win in 2022.

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