BALTIMORE – This is the Byron Buxton Experience, condensed into the four-game series last week from the Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles on the Camden Yards.
On Monday, Buxton took off the first base when Luis Arraez scorched the ground ball for the first time. The Orioles’ Ryan Mountcastle stepped down from the bag, looking second for the game twice – and giving up. No chance. Buxton has lost.
“It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Mountcastle. I was shocked. I just held on to a ball like, ‘Uhhh, OK, I do not know what happened.’ But it’s just too fast. “
Carlos Correa then called the driver in Buxton with the victory. The next night they got together for a beautiful double game: Buxton tracked the ball at the warning spot in the middle and fired for Correa, who turned second to catch the opponent. opponents try to complete. Twins win again.
In our game, Buxton did not play and the Twins lost. It’s healthy, but the twins build on the weekends to keep it fresh for the long haul.
In the fourth game, Buxton is back in line. The Twins fell again, but Buxton drove in all three lanes. In the fifth inning, he swung with a 3-0 count and launched a 452-foot home run to the outside of the bullpen.
So you have it: speed, defense, strength – and caution. Buxton at its best is breathtaking view. The twins want to see it as much as possible.
“He is the best athlete in the world, there is no doubt about it,” said Correa, the shortstop who left Houston to sign a three-year, $ 105.3 million contract with the Twins in training. spring instruction.
“In terms of intelligence, he’s the best. He had to be in the field and teach it, but I knew the talent when I saw it. Playing in the same team with Mike Trout, playing with some of the best players in the Astros – no one can beat him. No one hits the ball far. No one plays better defensively. No one interfered. No one runs faster. So when you talk about skills and you talk about tools, this is the greatest gift of any of them out there. “
Buxton is also the best batsman, Correa said, and he can refer to the usual statistics: As of Friday, Buxton was tied to the major leagues in homers, with nine, while hitting .290. Its ratio of base and slugging percentage is 1.109.
Instead, Correa referred to the previous heavyweight design addition, a measure that measures all design operations, including ballpark status. Buxton led that team two seasons ago, with 181, according to Fangraphs. It’s just Mike Trout and Juan Soto since 2020.
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In order to find Buxton among the leaders, however, you have to adjust the starting time for the game. Since making his debut in 2015 – three years after the Twins created his second overall, just after Correa – Buxton has gone missing with an injury to his thumb, groin, left good toe, left wrist, right wrist, left shoulder, right and right. left hand. It has also been delayed for migraines and concussion. He left Saturday to win over Oakland with a sore back.
When people call him injured, Buxton says, he ignores it. When they call him the best player in the world, he lands a little nicer but makes the same impact.
“That’s not a problem for me, either,” Buxton said. “For me to do that, I have to go out and prove it. I know I have not played enough, but I know I can do that, which is fun for me. That’s what keeps me on my toes – something will happen. There is that stress. For me that’s the challenge, and I love the race. “
As a free agent last season, his challenge is to find a way out in Minnesota. The two sides hope to continue the relationship; When Buxton graduated from Appling County High School in Baxley, Ga., he told his parents that he wanted to spend his entire career with a team. But his profile is tough.
When Buxton is playing, the team is juggernaut. As of 2019 (until Friday), the twins are 96-110 without Buxton. At the same time, they were 130-75 with him – .634 winning percentage, better than the best team in Minnesota history, 1965 pennant win (.630). Such interventions have claimed a lot of money, but health histories require caution.
“We tried to find the intersection of the two, and it took years – in some ways, really, at least two years,” said Derek Falvey, Twins president of the sport of volleyball. “We were looking for a comparison, and we could not really find one. But he really wanted to be here, and I think that stood out.”
Just before the closure, Buxton signed a seven-year, $ 100 million contract, with all terms of no business for the first five years and additional funding models that could earn him Add $ 10.5 million each season to the highest level: 625 plate event and first place finish in the World Cup. It will only happen.
Justin Morneau, now the Twins’s, who won the American League MVP as their first player of the year in 2006, said: “He can do anything like a great athlete.” When you’re on the field, even if it’s athletic you can. Look around and go: That man is better than anyone else. “
Manager Rocco Baldelli holds the Buxton leadoff for a key reason: He wants his best player to get the best possible way. Buxton rarely steals the base, mostly because he usually scores the job already. As of 2019, it has 116 additional tracks and only 113 singers singing and walking, leaning on itself as a hit.
“I played against him in high-A, and I just have never seen a sprinter in my life,” said David Popkins, the Twins coach. “Then it was a completely different hit, just made it play and run and used it fast. But this version of it is insane.”
This version, Buxton says, is in fact it. For many years he tried to be an enthusiastic, diligent seeker of advice from every instructor who saw him. By his first four major seasons he hit .230 with .387 percent slugging, much happier in the field than on the plate.
“I was against what I wanted to play 27 out of the Twins and 27 out of who we were playing,” Buxton said. “Well, I want to play more defensively than going to the plate, and it ‘s all because I have no plans. I do not have a chance. I do not have anything that is me.”
With the help of former twins boxing coach James Rowson, Buxton has learned to simplify his instructions and rely on his desire to be a batsman. He does not use multiple pitches because he knows he can impact almost anything near the attack area.
“And that makes it more fun, because I’m not going to go that far thinking about what you can do for me,” Buxton said. “I’m a leader.”
Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, who led Minnesota to his only two tournaments, in 1987 and 1991, played professional football. Buxton barely lifted his foot off the ground, generating energy from the ground and turning it into a bat. He was a genius, but Popkins said he made Buxton the greatest bat he had ever seen.
“He was always there waiting for you, like, ‘No matter what you do, I’m on the ground, very lucky,’ Popkins said. “He would get off the ground a little bit, but it was early and he was always there, and you could only see two feet holding. It was like his feet were hands; they were holding the ground and only torque it. “
As great as he was in the box batters, Buxton said he still got his best interest from the defense. Eliminating a hit, he said, is a way to change the power of the game, carrying the pitcher and all the fielders.
Buxton did a lot of that in 2017, when Wilson called him the top defender he brought the Twins to the game. That was his only season with 100 games played, however, remembering the weakness of the good.
Some injuries after Buxton could not be avoided – a collision with a wall in the middle that shattered his shoulder, a foul ball hitting his toe, a bad sound that hit him. the wrist. His fate is due to turn, and the Twins want him on the field by putting him off now and then. They will enjoy the show, despite the long turnaround time.
“I think we’d better come up with an idea around here: just enjoy what it’s,” Morneau said. “We do not know what the future holds. Just look out today and watch him run a ball in difference and enjoy it. Watch him turn into two things like no one else can and enjoy that. You hope she is healthy, but no one knows what will happen. So just take a look and enjoy the most electronic users in the game today. “