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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: BYRON BUXTON OUTFIELDER MINNESOTA TWINS

Could this finally be it?  After those earlier breathless comparisons to Mike Trout and visions of 30/30 numbers on an annual basis, it Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton finally finding his way to stardom?  Well a three-home run game which Buxton accomplished a few days prior was certainly a loud statement supporting this argument now at the age of 23 and with a few failures at the major league level already under his belt, we could very well be seeing the start of something big.

Now truth be told, I admit I was quite jaded with Buxton coming into the year.  At one time I too bought into the hype on Buxton as a can't miss future five-tool monster and his drafts status as the second pick overall in the 2012 draft certainly suggested such talent.  However it is now quite clear that the Twins rushed Buxton to the major leagues; first giving him the call in 2015.  While Buxton continued to tear up minor league pitching, each time he got a chance with the Twins in 2015 and in 2016, he fell flat on his face under a hail of strikeouts and .200 batting averages.  It was easy to forget just how young Buxton one and we in the fantasy baseball community have gotten used to seeing guys like Carlos Correa, Ryan Braun, and Corey Seager come up and excel from the jump.  Buxton needed a learning curve though and even though he once again started very slow in 2017 (.216 with 5 home runs in the first half), the proverbial light bulb has gone on in the second as he has scorched to the tune of a .330 average with 8 home runs in just 103 at-bats.  Through it all, Buxton has run like crazy with 24 total stolen bases to go with the 13 home runs.  Those are swell power/speed numbers from Buxton who is up to a .249 average.  While the .249 is still very ugly, at least Buxton is on the upswing and the future indeed seems bright again.

In terms of what still needs to improve, Buxton has to curb the nasty 28.4 K/9 rate he is carrying around but a 7.8 BB/9 is decent and will help there.  The power is really taking off now as well and the speed is already quite apparent.  So while Buxton is not a finished product yet, he is getting closer each day.


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