Minnesota Twins: Taking stock of the outfield

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 17: (L-R) Eddie Rosario /
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 The Minnesota Twins pitching staff will benefit greatly from having three skilled defenders in the outfield. That all starts up the middle with a player who will have a mantle full of Gold Gloves before his career is over.

Byron Buxton gives the Minnesota Twins the ability to play anybody they choose to play in the corners of the outfield. Buxton is your classic “line-to-line” center fielder and has not disappointed during his brief Major League career.

Minnesota hit the jackpot when they drafted Buxton second overall in 2012. He was billed as pretty much “faster than flash” (my description), and that speed has been on display since day one. Buxton uses his tremendous speed, and excellent baseball instincts, to cover more ground than the average center fielder.

He has also started putting things together at the plate. He strikes out far too much, but honestly, who doesn’t right now? When Buxton does reach base he is always a threat to steal a base and keep pitchers off-balance.

What to expect this season from Buxton

Buxton should take a step forward this season while pushing his average into the .260’s. He will need to show better plate discipline, but as long as Buxton reaches base he is a threat. A great base stealer can be the most dangerous weapon a team can have and Buxton could easily steal 40 bases in a season.

However, Buxton needs to reach base enough for that to happen so taking more walks will be crucial for his development. He definitely has enough pop in his bat to be a 20-20 player, or even 30-30 down the line, but it’s all about reaching base for him.

If Buxton can reign in his aggressiveness at the plate he would be the prototypical leadoff hitter for the Minnesota Twins. However, his true impact will be felt in the field and that will be a beautiful site. Let’s take a look at who will be playing next to Buxton in left field, Eddie Rosario.