Minnesota Twins top 2017 moments: Byron Buxton’s incredible speed
By Nate Palmer
The Minnesota Twins had an incredible run to the playoffs in 2017. Let’s remember some of the best moments of the year!
The Minnesota Twins had an incredibly fun season to follow as a fan. To close out the calendar year of 2017, we will take a look back at some of the biggest moments of the season!
All season long, Twins fans had a front row seat to something that seemed to be out of a super-hero comic or movie, Byron Buxton‘s speed…
Statcast’s Sprint Speed
From the moment the Twins drafted Byron Buxton in the 1st round of the MLB draft, we knew that Buxton had incredible speed. We had seen it with our eyes in so many ways through the minors and then when he finally hit the majors as well. His smooth, gazelle-like running style just amazes every time it is on display.
Statcast has been able to start tracking Sprint Speed which is an average of a player’s fastest one-second windows put into feet per second, which has given us numbers for what our eyes were already telling us about Buxton. At the beginning of the season, Buxton was behind Cincinnati Reds speedster Billy Hamilton for the top spot on the Sprint Speed list but would overtake him by years end.
The Final Numbers
By the end of the season, Buxton’s Sprint Speed measured at 30.2 feet per second. He just edged Hamilton who finished the season with a Sprint Speed of 30.1 feet per second. Both qualify as having elite speed which is defined by Statcast as anything 30 feet per second and above. Another Twins outfielder, Zack Granite, landed in the top-20 of this list at 29.1 feet per second.
Mike Petriello just put together an article that shows off all the fastest plays according to Statcast in 2017. It is full of Buxton highlights! For starters, Buxton owns the fastest Home to Home time of the season. Statcast tracked him at 30.9 ft/sec travelling the base paths in 13.85 seconds on an inside the park home run on August 18th. That wasn’t just the fastest of the year, it was the fastest Statcast has ever tracked!
On that same inside the park home run, Buxton also set his lead Home to Second time of 7.12 seconds. If that isn’t enough speed for you, on September 2nd Buxton also put himself at the top of the Home to Third category with a time of 10.52 seconds. On that triple, Buxton was able to record a sprint speed of 30.9 ft/sec.
All those numbers only point to Buxton’s speed on the base paths. His speed may have been most valuable to the Twins as he patrolled center field. He recorded several great catches, including several 5-star catches as defined by Statcast and lead the majors in 4-star catches. As Buxton improves his hitting, fans will only get to see that speed on display all the more in 2018 and beyond.
Next: Twins top 2017 moments: Buxton's defensive brilliance
This is part of our series of 2017 highlights. Which games or moments would you like to see us highlight next? Comment below!