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Byron Buxton 2017 Outlook


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From the JD Martinez article on FanGraphs about swing plane and optimal launch angles and such, I found this nugget and immediately wanted to throw something (disclaimer - article contains some colorful language).

 

Quote

 

Of course not everyone is buying in. Max Kepler said the philosophy is “Completely bogus.”

 

“Whenever I’m in doubt, I try to hit long ground balls to level my swing back out. I’m the complete opposite of what I hear people saying now days,” Kepler said.

 

 

What. The. F***.  I'd be so pissed if I cared at all about the Minnesota Twins.  Heck, I'm pissed just as a fan of the game and the athletic act of hitting a baseball.  They wrecked Buxton for a year.  Hopefully they just leave him alone now.

 

We'll see if those long ground balls help Kepler at all.

 

Ugh.

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4 hours ago, JFS179 said:

From the JD Martinez article on FanGraphs about swing plane and optimal launch angles and such, I found this nugget and immediately wanted to throw something (disclaimer - article contains some colorful language).

 

 

What. The. F***.  I'd be so pissed if I cared at all about the Minnesota Twins.  Heck, I'm pissed just as a fan of the game and the athletic act of hitting a baseball.  They wrecked Buxton for a year.  Hopefully they just leave him alone now.

 

We'll see if those long ground balls help Kepler at all.

 

Ugh.

 

This pairs well with the previous regime's pitching strategy. Focus on finding pitch to contact pitchers that don't miss bats.

Edited by Light Tower Power
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I don't see anything wrong with Keplers ideals. He's not exactly advocating being all out worm killer whenever nor is he dismissing ideal launch angles directly.

 

It seems he is more saying when his timing is off/feel to hit/uncomfortable at the plate. Hitting the long ground balls helps him re-calibrate quicker than it would to keep swinging up.. I mean the difference between a hard hit fly-ball and a pop up is millimeters on bat.  To him he'd rather hit a long grounder than hit weak pop flys..  So he is dismissing the idea of ALWAYS trying for it. I mean he had a 36% FB rate last year. He's not Christain Yelich level worm killer by any means.

 

Its a world of difference between trying for ideal launch angles and actually executing it against talent pitchers actively trying to mess you up with Location, Sequencing, Movement and Speed.  Keplers GB% is not great..but its not awful and a lot of talented/productive hitters are in his range on GB%.  More than one way to be a successful hitter..

 

I don't pretend to know a ton of about hitting mechancies..but I feel its a little more complex than simply trying to ideal launch angles all the time given how easy a hitter can get out of his grove. Its a very fickle kinda thing. The extremes of Donaldson/JDM may not fit the mold for every hitter to be successful. I know JDM swing praised a lot. He may have been a no body when he first came out...but his current swing is probably top 2-4% in all of baseball.

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4 minutes ago, Slatykamora said:

I don't see anything wrong with Keplers ideals. He's not exactly advocating being all out worm killer whenever nor is he dismissing ideal launch angles directly.

 

It seems he is more saying when his timing is off/feel to hit/uncomfortable at the plate. Hitting the long ground balls helps him re-calibrate quicker than it would to keep swinging up.. I mean the difference between a hard hit fly-ball and a pop up is millimeters on bat.  To him he'd rather hit a long grounder than hit weak pop flys..  So he is dismissing the idea of ALWAYS trying for it. I mean he had a 36% FB rate last year. He's not Christain Yelich level worm killer by any means.

 

Its a world of difference between trying for ideal launch angles and actually executing it against talent pitchers actively trying to mess you up with Location, Sequencing, Movement and Speed.  Keplers GB% is not great..but its not awful and a lot of talented/productive hitters are in his range on GB%.  More than one way to be a successful hitter..

 

I don't pretend to know a ton of about hitting mechancies..but I feel its a little more complex than simply trying to ideal launch angles all the time given how easy a hitter can get out of his grove. Its a very fickle kinda thing. The extremes of Donaldson/JDM may not fit the mold for every hitter to be successful. I know JDM swing praised a lot. He may have been a no body when he first came out...but his current swing is probably top 2-4% in all of baseball.

 

This is more the way I read it initially too which is why I didn't have such an extreme reaction but after seeing others I am reconsidering that. 

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True..but i thought this a key part of the article it terms of taking what players say vs what they actually do at the plate

 

All players have different cues and feels that help them create their swings. What they tell themselves and what actually happens can be two totally different events. Brian Dozier says he tries to drive the ball through the center field wall. Dozier, of course, pounds more balls about five feet inside the left field foul pole than anyone in the game. Byron Buxton says he tries to drive the ball to second base during batting practice but as September showed, Buxton is completely capable of turning on the ball and driving it into the air.
 

 

 

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Update on spring numbers.

Ab 56

Games 19

K's 20

BB 3

Sb 2

CS 1

Rbi 3

Hits 15

Ba .268

OBP .306

Runs 8

 

Can't wait to see what he does against major league pitchers once they are all up to speed and not mostly minor leaguer pitching

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24 minutes ago, motown magic said:

Update on spring numbers.

Ab 56

Games 19

K's 20

BB 3

Sb 2

CS 1

Rbi 3

Hits 15

Ba .268

OBP .306

Runs 8

 

Can't wait to see what he does against major league pitchers once they are all up to speed and not mostly minor leaguer pitching

 

^^Those were last year's #s.

 

This year it looks like this:


8 G
22 AB
6 H
4 2B
1 HR
2 BB
5 SO
1 SB
0 CS
.273 AVG
.333 OB%
.924 OPS

 

Not included is the exhibition game against team USA, he went 0-3 with a K verse Nate Jones (I think, forget exactly). His one non-xbh was a push punt to 2B. I've been trying to watch him if the opportunity presents itself. Also think he'll lead off verse lefties to start the year.

Edited by Light Tower Power
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He's kind of a post hype sleeper this year. Last year he was drafted in the 9th round of my keeper league where we keep 5 guys and this year his current ADP according to FantasyPros is 179. I think he'll go higher than that in most competitive leagues but I'll be keeping an eye on him once we get into the teen rounds in my draft, especially if he continues to show improvement with plate discipline and on base skills. Last year he was worthless because he could not get on base for the life of him.

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Update on spring training numbers per mlb.com:

 

  • PA: 33
  • K: 5
  • K-rate: 15%
  • BB: 3
  • BB-rate: 9%
  • HR: 1
  • 2B: 6
  • avg: .267

 

So he has more doubles (6) than strikeouts (5) through 33 PAs. I believe he hasn't struck out in his past 10 PAs, either. 

 

I haven't had a chance to watch him this spring, and I understand the limitations of using spring training stats (especially against pitchers either not throwing 100% or not throwing their best stuff), but it's encouraging nonetheless. 

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For all my old-school baseball purists out there that don't give af about numbers, Buxton will be better this year because he is going to smile more on the advice of his mother, and is working under the tutelage of living legend in the game, Torii Hunter

http://m.twins.mlb.com/news/article/220573744/byron-buxton-finds-way-by-staying-carefree/

 

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You draft players like this because it *could* be the year they take the leap.  It happens - uber prospect finally left alone to just do his thing. Sometimes it doesn't matter what the numbers have been to date. 

 

Sometimes it just clicks. 

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Cautiously optimistic....just make sure to get some high batting average guys in case Buxton ends up hitting .210.  Hit .210 is going to hurt since he's unlikely to walk a bunch so he will likely have a ton of at bats.

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1 hour ago, murraygd13 said:

Cautiously optimistic....just make sure to get some high batting average guys in case Buxton ends up hitting .210.  Hit .210 is going to hurt since he's unlikely to walk a bunch so he will likely have a ton of at bats.

 

If he is batting .210 after the first month then there is no way they keep him in the top 3rd of the lineup.

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On 3/20/2017 at 10:35 AM, Tchaikovsky08 said:

Update on spring training numbers per mlb.com:

 

  • PA: 33
  • K: 5
  • K-rate: 15%
  • BB: 3
  • BB-rate: 9%
  • HR: 1
  • 2B: 6
  • avg: .267

 

So he has more doubles (6) than strikeouts (5) through 33 PAs. I believe he hasn't struck out in his past 10 PAs, either. 

 

I haven't had a chance to watch him this spring, and I understand the limitations of using spring training stats (especially against pitchers either not throwing 100% or not throwing their best stuff), but it's encouraging nonetheless. 

 

Another update on spring training numbers:

 

  • PA: 48
  • K: 11
  • K-rate: 22.9%
  • BB: 4
  • BB-rate: 8.3%
  • Triple slash: .273 / .347 / .523

 

9 of his 12 hits have been for extra bases. 

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One other thing: last year Buxton struck out 20 times in 59 PAs in spring training -- 33.9%. He walked only 3 times -- 5%. 

 

2016 spring training: 33.9% K-rate, 5% BB-rate

2017 spring training: 22.9% K-rate, 8.3% BB-rate

 

Hard not to be cautiously encouraged by these numbers. 

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The Twins aren't going anywhere year or probably never. Put him up top and leave him there. Not like he's going to make a huge difference at the top or the bottom. I cashed in my shares. Good luck to all of you buying or that still own.

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