Sure, it’s still early but the returns the Minnesota Twins are seeing from Byron Buxton are exactly what the they were hoping to see when they made him the starting centerfielder to open the season.
Since calling Buxton back up to the majors, he has gotten a hit in every game through Saturday and has gone 7-for-19 (.368) while scoring three runs.
After struggling to a .156 batting average in April, the Minnesota Twins decided to move Buxton to their Triple-A affiliate Rochester Red Wings.
Once at Rochester, Buxton found instant success as he hit .336 with six home runs, 14 runs batted in, nine doubles and two triples.
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After about a month down in the minors, the Minnesota Twins decided it was time to call up the top prospect when Danny Santana went down with an injury.
It’s clear the time in the minors was well spent as Buxton has shown much more patience, poise and overall comfort at the plate.
His at-bats have been better and even when he’s not getting a hit he’s utilizing his speed to make things tough on the defense.
For example, Buxton had an at-bat on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays where he smoked a ball to the short and forced Brad Miller to try and rush as Buxton was already well on his way to first.
Miller ended up misplaying the ball and Buxton reached on an error.
It’s plays like these the Minnesota Twins were hoping to see from Buxton. He doesn’t need to get a hit every time but as long as he is utilizing his speed and forcing the opposing defense to make tough plays like the one on Saturday, then success will come.
And in case you were wondering, Buxton followed up that at-bat with another hot-shot single to left in the fourth inning and then a single to center in the ninth.
Perhaps the early comparisons by scouts and analysts to Mike Trout were false. Really, the only ways the players compare are defense and speed.
Buxton will probably not morph into 30-40 home run guy as many people have probably determined by now. But he can become a run scoring and base stealing machine as long as he continues to at least put the ball in play.
The hits will come in time for Buxton but right now the most important thing for him to work on is his continued consistency and confidence at the plate. With the season all but lost in terms of a playoff run, the Minnesota Twins should now continue to work on the development of players like Buxton, Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano and Max Kepler.