With Minnesota Twins second basemen Brian Dozier going on an absolutely ridiculous second half tear, the storyline has been pretty much stuck on his success.
One thing that has been overlooked by the media and fans alike has been recent hot hitting of Minnesota Twins top prospect Byron Buxton.
And perhaps the attention being put back on Dozier was for the best as Buxton has been given an opportunity to shine since his September call-up.
Dozier nabbing all the media attention may also be best because it takes all the attention off Buxton.
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There has been much made about his struggles and for a 22-year old rookie, that can’t be easy.
With added pressure to perform like a top pick, giving Buxton the opportunity to play behind the shadow of Dozier’s success may work for the best.
And though it is a small sample size, Buxton has looked much more patient and confident, hitting .462 in September alone.
He has picked up a hit in all but one game, has scored two or more runs in four games and homered four times.
Again, this is a small sample size but wow, what a performance it has been.
The hope is this will get Buxton going heading into next year. We have seen spurts like this before (his return in the end of May to beginning of June comes to mind) so it will be a storyline worth watching to see if he can continue this throughout the rest of the month.
Buxton’s ups and downs have been very similar to those of Aaron Hicks when he first arrived.
Hicks showed signs of absolute brilliance but also struggled mightily for most of his time.
Then during his 2015 season, it all just started to click. Hicks became a much more reliable option in centerfield than Buxton.
I still believe Buxton is and will be a better outfielder than Hicks. Hopefully he is picking up on things much faster than Hicks.
Let us not forget, this is Buxton’s first “full” MLB season.
He played in just 46 games last season and just 70 this season.
Even if he were to play every game the rest of the season, he would still not have a complete season’s worth of games combined.
Really, the most unfortunate thing is that this is happening now.
Not because him performing like this would have been a season-changer for the Twins – though it certainly wouldn’t have hurt – but because he will have to wait until the beginning of the 2017 season before picking up where he left off.
Regardless, these next few weeks may be the most important of Buxton’s young career. He absolutely has to take this opportunity to establish himself heading into next season.