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Byron Buxton 2017 Outlook


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Just now, lavaman said:

I don't have the stats in front of me, but look what Bux did the last couple months of the season. The guy was practically doing no wrong, if I remember correctly. I'd love to have this guy on my team, as it seems he's finally putting it together.

That's only true if you consider sky-high K rates "doing no wrong".

The guy just can't make contact with big league pitches on a consistent basis

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15 hours ago, mysonx3 said:

That's only true if you consider sky-high K rates "doing no wrong".

The guy just can't make contact with big league pitches on a consistent basis

Yup. I think the timing will come, honestly... It just might in 5 years. Some guys take forever to figure it out. His toolset is pretty crazy. I wonder if a pitching coach change may help as well? 

And, to be fair, he had only 113PA at the end of the season.... His XBH were great, 6 doubles and 2 triples along with 9HRs. But that is a s sm sma small sample size (stuttered). 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Fangraphs article on him today. Maybe the leg kick plus the pull happy approach lead to his HR binge to end the season. Anyway, let him start with this approach and than figure out the strike zone. Much better than the slap hitter Moliter was trying to turn him into.

 

http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/twin-mid-round-mancrushes-buxton-and-sano/

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 12/10/2016 at 3:49 PM, taobball said:

 

Considering that, even if you consider September indicative of future value, he had a 33.6% K rate... not great. 

 

Bump it down to 31%. Just to be generous. And a generous BB% improvement to 8.5%, compared to a career 6.2%, and 6.9% seasonal high. His Career BABIP is .320. I'll give him a .340. I'll even give him 15 homers. So all of these numbers I would consider on the high edge of hte projections:

 

That's a .253/.316/.430 for a .746 OPS, 15 HRs, maybe 30 SBs. And I'd consider that a very favorable projection based on what I've seen from Buxton.

 

If I'm being more honest, for my own rankings I'm probably giving him a 32.5%, 7.5%, .325, and let's just say 14 HRs:

 

That's a .236/.294/.413 for a .707 OPS, 14 HRs, and again maybe 30 SBs.

 

And to me, that line still suggests improvement. Buxton's got a ton of upside but you don't know that if you've just watched him play instead of read guides. He's never looked like a talented ball player, he's constantly over matched, they throw low and he can't hit it, and they throw it lower and he chases it anyway. 

 

To the discussion of a .350 OBP, the walk rate isn't an issue there, he has to hit for a BA as well, not just walk.  

given the horrible chase rate and overall whiff and contact rates, I can't be a buyer here either while looking to fill out my OF slots.  Even with a 9% walk rate and a relatively above average BABIP, I'm not seeing a .250 plus BA here either.  

 

I believe that young players need to hit their way into stardom when beginning their big league careers.  Mark Bellhorns don't typically make the Hall...

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ZIPS gives Buxton 533 PA: 24 2B, 9 3B, 16 HR, 16 SB (3-CS). 6.4 BB%, 29.3 K%, .185 ISO, .259 AVG, .311 OBP, .755 OPS

 

His top comp is Mike Cameron. Meanwhile, if the power shows up from the last month and his 80 grade speed plays on the base paths, young BJ Upton looks like a good comp as well. Needs to start spitting on that outside pitch for the average to come around, still raw. Interesting player because of the range of outcomes.

  1.  

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2017-zips-projections-minnesota-twins/

Edited by Light Tower Power
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On 12/15/2016 at 9:39 AM, BlueJaysIn2030 said:

Yup. I think the timing will come, honestly... It just might in 5 years. Some guys take forever to figure it out. His toolset is pretty crazy. I wonder if a pitching coach change may help as well? 

And, to be fair, he had only 113PA at the end of the season.... His XBH were great, 6 doubles and 2 triples along with 9HRs. But that is a s sm sma small sample size (stuttered). 

How long did it take for Alex Gordon to get it going? He put up some very good numbers one year before finally settling in to be just an above fantasy player. In many cases these guys are better real life players . I think Buxton ends up much like BJ Upton. Low average and pretty much a steals guy ( 25 ) when the dust clears. Nothing special. I had him . Traded him. Got him back and traded him again. I'm not waiting through the so called growing pains. He'll have his moments but not enough for me . How many pages did we have with this guy? How many pages and years did we have with Upton? I'm moving on .Good luck to those of you that haven't been there yet.

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On ‎12‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 10:47 AM, Light Tower Power said:

 

To add, from a June 2nd article. This was at a time when he had zero home runs:

My approach is just try to hit a hard groundball to second base,” Buxton said before batting practice Thursday. “That helps me keep my hands through the ball and helps me see the ball a little bit longer.” To be fair, I don't know if his approach changed, but with the results at the end of September, I'd guess his approach must have, in addition to figuring out the leg kick.

 

http://www.1500espn.com/twins-2/2016/06/new-approach-why-byron-buxton-is-visualizing-hits-to-the-second-baseman/

 

 

On 11-8-16, twins fire their hitting coach. On 12-2-16, they hired a new one. I don't think the Twins helped him last year, as they tried to pigeon hole him, instead of letting the talent figure stuff out on its own. Hopefully, the new coach can help him more than hinder him. He was also obviously pressing due to all the hype last year, that's not anyone's fault, but it should have run its course by now.

 

There is so, so, so, so much wrong with this... and combined with the interview with Molitor posted earlier, it's like a clinic in how to screw up a player.  There were a handful of articles last year about how Buxton had a leg kick, then the Twins took it away when he broke into the big leagues.  When he went back down, I think he started the leg kick again, but they've got his head filled with hitting a F'ing ground ball to 2B.  Quick, what's the EASIEST way for the defense to get you out?

 

Buxton is a very interesting case, and it will be extremely intriguing to see what happens with him in the coming years.  He's got power, even if most of it is projectable at this point (though the September power suggests it's not all projection).  He's got absurd speed.  He's a ridiculous defender.  The question is the bat to ball skill -- his hit tool.  Eno Sarris had an article on Buxton about K-rates and BB-rates in player's first X-hundred ABs (don't remember the threshold), and Buxton's was by far the highest discrepancy.  That said, another player on that list was a highly touted prospect I punted on -- Javier Baez.  And about when everyone decided Baez wasn't worth the headache, would always swing out of his shoes, would never make enough contact, etc -- that's when it all clicked, and Baez became a pretty darn useful player with a very bright outlook.

 

Buxton is 23 years old.  He missed basically an entire year of development despite being so young.  He had a bunch of morons try to change his swing and his approach while he was simultaneously facing the toughest pitching of his life in the bigs.  I heard an interview with David Dahl on SiriusXM over the weekend, and Dahl said Carlos Gonzalez came up to him in his very first BP session and said, "You do you.  Do exactly what you've done to get here.  Don't change anything.  Don't try to be anyone else." 

 

I'm willing to give Buxton one more shot given that the Twins couldn't seem to get that through their heads (just leave the kid alone and let him hit).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I really don't think the batting average projections on this kid are fair. I've seen people say .220 is his ceiling?! Literally analysts and people getting paid to write about baseball.

 

He has K'd a lot in the majors, but was 21 and 22 years old. Kris Bryant was still K'ing up a storm in AA at that age, let alone the major leagues.

 

Not to mention most of his struggles have been mental. His approach to "hit straight at the second baseman" and to get the ball on the ground as much as he can. 

 

When he got called back up last year he went on a tear and had a changed approach to drive the ball. He had 10 home runs last year out of only 67 hits in 298 AB's and he's projected to only hit 15 this whole season?!? 

 

This kid has elite tools and was graded highly by virtually every scout. He fails as a 21/22 year old and now people think he's a .220 hitter w 15 Home run power?

I'm definitely buying where his ADP is and in dynasty leagues if you can buy low.

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On 1/31/2017 at 5:58 AM, motown magic said:

How long did it take for Alex Gordon to get it going? He put up some very good numbers one year before finally settling in to be just an above fantasy player. In many cases these guys are better real life players . I think Buxton ends up much like BJ Upton. Low average and pretty much a steals guy ( 25 ) when the dust clears. Nothing special. I had him . Traded him. Got him back and traded him again. I'm not waiting through the so called growing pains. He'll have his moments but not enough for me . How many pages did we have with this guy? How many pages and years did we have with Upton? I'm moving on .Good luck to those of you that haven't been there yet.

maybe thats just bad development on kc or bad scouting? gordon, moose, hosmer, colon, bubba starling, (all top 5 picks)

 

alot of plays that were drafted for their "tools" do take longer, if at all to figure it out

 

his adp is low enough right now and his  ceiling is  high enough for me to take him

 

Edited by colepenhagen
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On Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 1:40 PM, JFS179 said:

 

There is so, so, so, so much wrong with this... and combined with the interview with Molitor posted earlier, it's like a clinic in how to screw up a player.  There were a handful of articles last year about how Buxton had a leg kick, then the Twins took it away when he broke into the big leagues.  When he went back down, I think he started the leg kick again, but they've got his head filled with hitting a F'ing ground ball to 2B.  Quick, what's the EASIEST way for the defense to get you out?

 

Buxton is a very interesting case, and it will be extremely intriguing to see what happens with him in the coming years.  He's got power, even if most of it is projectable at this point (though the September power suggests it's not all projection).  He's got absurd speed.  He's a ridiculous defender.  The question is the bat to ball skill -- his hit tool.  Eno Sarris had an article on Buxton about K-rates and BB-rates in player's first X-hundred ABs (don't remember the threshold), and Buxton's was by far the highest discrepancy.  That said, another player on that list was a highly touted prospect I punted on -- Javier Baez.  And about when everyone decided Baez wasn't worth the headache, would always swing out of his shoes, would never make enough contact, etc -- that's when it all clicked, and Baez became a pretty darn useful player with a very bright outlook.

 

Buxton is 23 years old.  He missed basically an entire year of development despite being so young.  He had a bunch of morons try to change his swing and his approach while he was simultaneously facing the toughest pitching of his life in the bigs.  I heard an interview with David Dahl on SiriusXM over the weekend, and Dahl said Carlos Gonzalez came up to him in his very first BP session and said, "You do you.  Do exactly what you've done to get here.  Don't change anything.  Don't try to be anyone else." 

 

I'm willing to give Buxton one more shot given that the Twins couldn't seem to get that through their heads (just leave the kid alone and let him hit).

 

The Twins "development" of this kid has been an absolute trainwreck.  Like a manual on how to screw up a prospect and waste valuable cheap salary years in the majors.

 

I threw a Eric Davis comp on him a few years ago.  I still believe in the tools.  But he's got a long way to go to get there.   Gallo, Baez, Buxton...stop rushing elite tool hitting prospects to the majors when they haven't even shown they can command the strike zone at the minor league levels. 

 

"Hey kid, you're really bright.  You're so bright that even though you haven't mastered pre-algebra yet we're going to jump you to calculus."

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8 minutes ago, 96mnc said:

 

The Twins "development" of this kid has been an absolute trainwreck.  Like a manual on how to screw up a prospect and waste valuable cheap salary years in the majors.

 

I threw a Eric Davis comp on him a few years ago.  I still believe in the tools.  But he's got a long way to go to get there.   Gallo, Baez, Buxton...stop rushing elite tool hitting prospects to the majors when they haven't even shown they can command the strike zone at the minor league levels. 

 

"Hey kid, you're really bright.  You're so bright that even though you haven't mastered pre-algebra yet we're going to jump you to calculus."

Yup. Not everyone can be Mike Trout/Kris Bryant/Manny Machado/Etc, but many GMs (and us in the FBB community) expect guys to come in and be incredible off the hop. Baseball is one of - if not the - most difficult sports to play. You have less than a second to decide on where to swing at a pitch, what that pitch is, and where it will be. Forget that it's coming at you at 90+MPh/145KMh... Just try and decide what kinda of pitch it is. 

Then you get guys like Darvish who throw like 40 different pitches from the exact same release point... and people expect 20 year olds to master that? Yikes.

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11 minutes ago, 96mnc said:

 

The Twins "development" of this kid has been an absolute trainwreck.  Like a manual on how to screw up a prospect and waste valuable cheap salary years in the majors.

 

I threw a Eric Davis comp on him a few years ago.  I still believe in the tools.  But he's got a long way to go to get there.   Gallo, Baez, Buxton...stop rushing elite tool hitting prospects to the majors when they haven't even shown they can command the strike zone at the minor league levels. 

 

"Hey kid, you're really bright.  You're so bright that even though you haven't mastered pre-algebra yet we're going to jump you to calculus."

 

I kinda get a Carlos Gomez vibe here... really, really touted prospect that just hadn't mastered the strike zone at all and took several years before he finally figured it out. 

 

I think you have to draft Buxton realizing it could be a complete waste of a pick... but if you're trying to win your league, hitting big on some of the middle round breakouts is a great way to do it.  NFBC right now has Buxton at pick 145 on average (high of 104, low of 187).  The bats immediately before and after him: Bradley Jr., Jake Lamb, Tomas, Grandal, Aledmys Diaz.  Whiffing at a pick in the 12th or 13th round of your standard 12-teamer won't kill you.

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13 minutes ago, JFS179 said:

 

I kinda get a Carlos Gomez vibe here... really, really touted prospect that just hadn't mastered the strike zone at all and took several years before he finally figured it out. 

 

I think you have to draft Buxton realizing it could be a complete waste of a pick... but if you're trying to win your league, hitting big on some of the middle round breakouts is a great way to do it.  NFBC right now has Buxton at pick 145 on average (high of 104, low of 187).  The bats immediately before and after him: Bradley Jr., Jake Lamb, Tomas, Grandal, Aledmys Diaz.  Whiffing at a pick in the 12th or 13th round of your standard 12-teamer won't kill you.

 

With young guys spring training stat I do put stock in is strike outs and walks but I'm looking for extreme improvements.  For example, I believe Ozuna only struck out once all of last spring training.  

 

Funny you mention Gomez.  He was another young hitter that a team tried to turn into a slap hitting wimp instead of allowing him to attack the ball.

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Part of the reason both Sano and Buxton were called up is the Twins had a chance for the playoffs that year and tried to cash in two lottery tickets. Can't blame them for trying. It didn't work for them.

 

Remember the outrage on how the Red Sox handled Mookie that first year? Bring him up and sit him on the bench, send him down to learn, bring him back and not play him. How many posters on here were clamoring the Red Sox were ruining him by destroying his confidence?

 

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

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I won't take too much out of what Buxton does during ST. He'll be facing minor league pitching for much of it and only see major league pitcher 1-2 at bats later. Pitchers will be working on command and other pitches so he could fill the score book and crap his pants by the third week of April. I've down the road this this guy a couple of times. I defended him . Somebody can have my turn. Hope it all works out for you.

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9 minutes ago, Low and Away said:

Part of the reason both Sano and Buxton were called up is the Twins had a chance for the playoffs that year and tried to cash in two lottery tickets. Can't blame them for trying. It didn't work for them.

 

Remember the outrage on how the Red Sox handled Mookie that first year? Bring him up and sit him on the bench, send him down to learn, bring him back and not play him. How many posters on here were clamoring the Red Sox were ruining him by destroying his confidence?

 

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

 

Credit to the posters I've seen in this thread - I haven't seen anyone say teams have ruined his confidence.  Or ruined them as players long-term.  What they are doing us wasting cheap labor years while these kids are learning how to command the plate.

 

And Mookie is one of the WORST guys to use in this situation.  He HAD displayed mastery of the strike zone in the minors.  He's on the opposite end of the spectrum.

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4 minutes ago, motown magic said:

I won't take too much out of what Buxton does during ST. He'll be facing minor league pitching for much of it and only see major league pitcher 1-2 at bats later. Pitchers will be working on command and other pitches so he could fill the score book and crap his pants by the third week of April. I've down the road this this guy a couple of times. I defended him . Somebody can have my turn. Hope it all works out for you.

 

For any young hitter in spring training don't look at the full box score, look at the strike outs and look for extreme changes (like Ozuna only striking out once all spring).

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Honestly, I'm waiting for ST.  Here's the trend: He gets called up, has a leg kick, mashes for two weeks, then loses the leg kick, and hits .180 and strikes out 50% of the time.  Goes back to AAA, brings the leg kick back, mashes, comes back up and mashes for two weeks, then loses the leg kick.

 

With Brunansky gone as hitting coach, if he's looking good in ST and has the leg kick, I'm going to take him.

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Some reading material:

http://www.1500espn.com/twins-2/2017/02/wetmores-2017-twins-outlook-see-superstar-byron-buxton/
 

http://www.1500espn.com/twins-2/2017/01/byron-buxtons-monster-september-real/

 

Quotes below from this article:

http://www.1500espn.com/twins-2/2017/01/zulgad-sage-advice-hunters-call-proves-hit-comes-buxtons-production/

 

-Speaking with Tori Hunter (Translation, he abandoned the slap the ball to 2nd base approach that was forced upon him at the beginning of the year at the MLB level during the final month of the year)

“He just said, ‘Go play baseball. Go have fun, stop thinking and don’t worry about anything else,’” Buxton said Sunday on the final day of TwinsFest at Target Field. “I was like, ‘Man, you know what? You’re right.’ When we’re 5, we don’t think about, ‘Oh, he’s going to throw a curveball or a slider.’ We just go, ‘I want to hit this ball as far as I can.’ I kind of put that kid mentality in to free myself up to allow me to just be loose and be me.”

 

-Failing for the first time (people forget that he was a raw Georgia high school prospect when drafted that missed a lot of time due to fluky injuries, which makes him still raw given the age per level).

“I think the biggest thing that helped me out was to fail,” said Buxton, who turned 23 in December. “I never failed coming up through high school, coming up through minor league ball. “I always got blessed enough to play with a great group of guys coming up and we were always good. We put team chemistry together and we all played well and won a lot of championships, so last year me struggling, I think it just taught me more about myself.”

 

-Offseason focus:

“I’ve been up and down a lot,” he said. “Offseason-wise I took and focused on the small things of hitting. Stand down on the ball, using my legs, keeping my head down, getting some extension. Just the small things to kind of help my swing level out in the long run to allow me to be more consistent and to get on base for my teammates to drive me in.”

 

 

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I don't think anyone doubts Buxton's raw talent but if he wants to be even a league average MLB player he has a lot of work to do. It could happen quickly of course and it could translate to very strong value but I just can't look at that K% and draft him very highly at all. 

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6 minutes ago, Low and Away said:

He is a high upside lottery ticket. You don't draft him until after pick 200 in a twelve team league. He goes before that there are other tickets.

 

Curious what highly means to you? I am drafting him as a bn bat on a wait and see basis.

 

I can't do top 200 either, I'm debating whether to drop him at teh end of my top 250 or not... I feel like for my rankings I like to "rank" players I'm more likely to see production out of but in a draft if he were there after 200 I'd start considering it as well. 

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