Byron Buxton
Byron Buxton
25-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Minnesota Twins
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Buxton looked like a budding star in the second half of 2017 (.893 OPS, 11 HR), but followed that up with a lost year. He began last season by missing time with recurring migraines and played through a hairline fracture in his left big toe, which resulted in him being sent to the minors after hitting just .122 in 17 games. Then he missed several weeks with a wrist injury. When finally healthy, he hit .311 with three homers and a .901 OPS over 23 games, but Minnesota manipulated his service time and did not call him up in September. Buxton is the fastest player in baseball, which results in outstanding defense and supreme efficiency on the basepaths (34-for-35 on SB attempts over the past 168 games). He's been erratic at the plate, with stretches of promise and futility. His power/speed upside remains alluring entering his age-25 season, but he will need to make more consistent contact while avoiding injuries to have a shot at reaching that ceiling. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Twins in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Good to go Saturday
OFMinnesota Twins
March 23, 2019
Buxton (face) will start in center field and bat ninth in Saturday's Grapefruit League game against the Orioles, Do-Hyoung Park of reports.
Buxton was diagnosed with a facial contusion after exiting Friday's 10-6 loss to the Red Sox, but manager Rocco Baldelli suggested the outfielder's removal was merely precautionary, per Dan Hayes of The Athletic. The 25-year-old's ability to check back into the lineup a day later supports Baldelli's comments and suggests Buxton is in no danger of missing Opening Day.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .730 277 37 6 24 6 .247 .322 .407
Since 2016vs Right .669 659 84 20 69 38 .227 .277 .392
2018vs Left .222 19 1 0 0 0 .111 .111 .111
2018vs Right .422 75 7 0 4 5 .167 .200 .222
2017vs Left .792 150 23 4 13 5 .282 .365 .427
2017vs Right .701 361 46 12 38 24 .242 .293 .408
2016vs Left .735 108 13 2 11 1 .223 .299 .436
2016vs Right .704 223 31 8 27 9 .225 .277 .426
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
Since 2016Home .747 466 67 14 45 28 .255 .314 .433
Since 2016Away .628 470 54 12 48 16 .212 .268 .360
2018Home .426 49 7 0 1 3 .174 .208 .217
2018Away .337 45 1 0 3 2 .136 .156 .182
2017Home .798 242 34 8 22 15 .275 .339 .459
2017Away .665 269 35 8 29 14 .234 .292 .373
2016Home .770 175 26 6 22 10 .250 .308 .462
2016Away .652 156 18 4 16 0 .197 .258 .394
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Stat Review
How does Byron Buxton compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Buxton had epic struggles at the plate to begin last season, hitting .147 with a .433 OPS in the first month while striking out in 37 percent of his plate appearances. The Twins kept him in the lineup for his defense -- he was the top outfielder in baseball by most advanced metrics. Buxton completely changed his swing in May, dropping his leg kick and almost starting from scratch with some awkward initial at-bats. The radical changes helped as Buxton hit .300 with 11 home runs, an .893 OPS and a 27.6 percent strikeout rate after the All-Star break. Buxton may be the fastest player in the majors, which allows him to be supremely efficient on the basepaths, where he stole 29 bases on 30 attempts. Despite his second half renaissance, Buxton still has work to do with pitch recognition, which would lead to fewer strikeouts and more walks. Given his pedigree (No. 2 overall pick in 2012) and rare power-speed combo, Buxton’s upside appears unlimited entering his age-24 season.
Buxton was struggling through a second consecutive disappointing season in the majors before a strong September finish gave hope that the former top prospect may be ready to become a star. After hitting just .193 with one homer in his first 63 games in the majors, Buxton finished the season strong by batting .287 with 10 homers and a 1.011 OPS after he was called up again in September. He still needs to improve his low walk rate and terrible strikeout rate, but his power surge is likely for real as he hit 11 home runs with a .927 OPS at Triple-A. Buxton posses outstanding speed, which makes him a plus defender and should result in impact stolen-base totals if he can get on base more frequently. He's set to start in center field for the Twins and should get every chance to prove his September ascendance is for real.
Buxton began the season at Double-A and hit .283/.351/.489 with six home runs and 20 stolen bases in 59 games before he was called up to the majors in June. Just 11 games into his big league career, he landed on the DL after spraining his thumb. Buxton played 13 games at Triple-A after a long layoff and finally returned to the majors in mid-August. Given the job initially as Minnesota's starting center fielder, he struggled and had a part-time role in September. Buxton hit just .209 with a .576 OPS in the majors and looked overmatched as he was often lost and free swinging at the plate. He had an ugly 44:6 K:BB, a stark contrast to his minor league career where he showed impressive control of the strike zone. With Aaron Hicks out of the picture, Buxton appears destined to begin the season as Minnesota's starting center fielder, and there is still good reason to believe he'll be a five-tool star.
Buxton entered 2014 as the top prospect in baseball, but played just 31 games amid an injury-plagued season that set back his development a full year. Buxton suffered a pisotriquetral joint sprain in his left wrist in spring training and didn't begin his minor league season until May. After getting on the field at High-A Fort Myers, he aggravated the injury after just one week and proceeded to miss another two months. When he finally returned in July, he was quickly promoted to Double-A – where he suffered a season-ending concussion in a collision with a teammate in the outfield in his first game. He returned for the Arizona Fall League but didn't do much at the plate as he hit .263/.311/.298 before suffering yet another injury, a broken finger. None of Buxton's injuries are expected to be an issue in spring training, but his lack of playing time likely pushed back timetable for becoming the everyday center fielder for the Twins from 2015 to 2016. Further, his multitude of injuries – including a shoulder injury in the 2013 AFL – raise concerns that he's injury prone. However, his limited performance did nothing to dissuade analysts and scouts that he's still among the elite prospects in baseball. In 2013, he also showed impressive control of the strike zone, striking out in just 18.3% of his plate appearances, while drawing walks 13.2% of the time. Buxton's speed also results in outstanding defense in center field, and while his 12 home runs in 2013 weren't overly impressive, scouts expect him to develop more power as he grows. He'll likely begin 2015 at Double-A and the Twins will likely give him extended time in the minors to prove he can stay healthy. If everything goes well, he could push his way to Minnesota before the end of the season.
Buxton may be the best prospect in baseball after a season in which he displayed his five-tool talent, hitting .334/.424/.520 with 12 home runs and 55 stolen bases between Low-A and High-A. He began the season by hitting .341/.431/.559 for Low-A Beloit with 32 stolen bases in 68 games. He was then promoted to High-A Fort Myers, where he hit .326/.415/.472 with 23 stolen bases. Buxton, who is said to be the fastest player in the Twins' organization, led the entire minor leagues with 18 triples. He also showed impressive control of the strike zone, striking out in just 18 percent of his plate appearances, while drawing walks 13 percent of the time. Buxton's speed also results in outstanding defense in center field, and while his 12 home runs last season weren't overly impressive, scouts expect him to develop more power as he grows. His performance is more impressive since he did it at just age 19, as few players that young have posted an OPS of .990 in the pitcher-friendly Low-A Midwest League. He quickly drew comparisons to Mike Trout, who displayed similar numbers while playing for Low-A Cedar Rapids in his age-19 season (Trout hit .362/.454/.526 with six home runs in 81 games), and last season Buxton drew praise from many scouts who put him on par with Trout or even said he was the best player they had ever seen. Although Minnesota is typically slow to rush prospects through the system, they'll likely make an exception for Buxton. He'll begin the season at Double-A, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him entrenched as Minnesota's starting center fielder as early as June.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft has the potential to develop into a top-notch, five-tool player for the Twins. He hit just .248 with a .792 OPS in 48 games between two levels of rookie ball, but showed promising signs by hitting five home runs and drawing walks in 10 percent of his plate appearances. He is also said to have the best speed in the organization. Buxton is far away from the majors at age 19 and the Twins do not rush prospects, but he could quickly climb to the top of Minnesota's prospect lists.
More Fantasy News
Day-to-day with facial contusion
OFMinnesota Twins
March 22, 2019
Buxton exited Friday's spring game with a facial contusion, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports.
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Removed from game
OFMinnesota Twins
March 22, 2019
Buxton was removed from Friday's spring game with an apparent injury, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports.
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Hits fourth spring home run
OFMinnesota Twins
March 13, 2019
Buxton went 2-for-3 with a home run in Wednesday's win over the Red Sox. He's hitting .400 (10-for-25) with four home runs this spring.
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Hits second spring homer
OFMinnesota Twins
February 25, 2019
Buxton went 3-for-3 with his second home run of the spring in Monday's win over Baltimore. He's 5-for-5 in two games this spring.
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Homers in spring debut
OFMinnesota Twins
February 23, 2019
Buxton went 2-for-2 with a home run and five RBI in his first spring training game in Saturday's win over Tampa Bay.
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