DerekQ

Byron Buxton 2017 Outlook

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If you had Buxton for the last month of the 2016 season then you caught lightning in a bottle and realize what he's capable of. What is a reasonable stat line for the Byron Buxton for the 2017 season?   

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23 years old to start the year... crazy how young this guy is.

 

I'm going to say he hits in the .240s with close to 20HR/20SB. R/RBI? That Twins lineup stinks... Assuming he plays all year I'll out him down for 110-120 R/RBI.

 

Dude has to figure out that Krate. He chased so many balls outside the zone.

 

To be fair he's played in a total of 138 games. He's gone 12/12 with 60R, 44RBI and a lousy .274OBP. 

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I dunno I think The Twins should have a better than average lineup.  With how young they are Sano, Rosario, Kepler, Polanco, Vargas... Buxton looks like he could be ready to take a big step forward next season.

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I'm happy he hit 20 home runs in under 500 abs. His power projection was the most questionable tool holding down his ceiling. I was worried he may never ever get to 20 and he did that last year, although it was split between AAA/MLB. He was hitting bombs in the show in September though.

 

He was raw when he was drafted and still hasn't seen much playing time verse advanced pitching. Hopefully the plate discipline takes a big step forward this year with more seasoning.

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31 minutes ago, FouLLine said:

I dunno I think The Twins should have a better than average lineup.  With how young they are Sano, Rosario, Kepler, Polanco, Vargas... Buxton looks like he could be ready to take a big step forward next season.

Yeah it is an interesting but probably very volatile lineup. if bux can make his way to that top of that lineup, then I'm interested.  If he's bottom third then no no no. I think in a 12 teamer I'd take him as my OF3, if I had a really good OF1 and 2, or if I took another more predictable OF shortly after him. 

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34 minutes ago, 2ndCitySox said:

Yeah it is an interesting but probably very volatile lineup. if bux can make his way to that top of that lineup, then I'm interested.  If he's bottom third then no no no. I think in a 12 teamer I'd take him as my OF3, if I had a really good OF1 and 2, or if I took another more predictable OF shortly after him. 

 

Where one player hits isn't going to make or break a lineup.  It could make or break their fantasy value sure.  But honestly if Buxton ended up being the worst hitter in the lineup I think that would mean the Twins are a more productive lineup than if Buxton held down the 1 or 2 hole all season.  Not that The Twins can't have a good lineup with Buxton at the top but if Buxton is towards the bottom that just means that everyone else is probably producing (or Buxton is just sucking). 

 

Either way I think Buxton is at the point in his career where he is going to start really producing

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1 hour ago, FouLLine said:

 

Where one player hits isn't going to make or break a lineup.  It could make or break their fantasy value sure.  But honestly if Buxton ended up being the worst hitter in the lineup I think that would mean the Twins are a more productive lineup than if Buxton held down the 1 or 2 hole all season.  Not that The Twins can't have a good lineup with Buxton at the top but if Buxton is towards the bottom that just means that everyone else is probably producing (or Buxton is just sucking). 

 

Either way I think Buxton is at the point in his career where he is going to start really producing

Is it reasonable to think he can hit .270 90/20/60 with 15+ steals? Or are these ceiling type numbers for 2017?

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3 hours ago, FouLLine said:

 

Where one player hits isn't going to make or break a lineup.  It could make or break their fantasy value sure.  But honestly if Buxton ended up being the worst hitter in the lineup I think that would mean the Twins are a more productive lineup than if Buxton held down the 1 or 2 hole all season.  Not that The Twins can't have a good lineup with Buxton at the top but if Buxton is towards the bottom that just means that everyone else is probably producing (or Buxton is just sucking). 

 

Either way I think Buxton is at the point in his career where he is going to start really producing

I think you misunderstood.  I'm not interested in Buxton if he is hitting in the bottom 3rd. I am if he's hitting at the top. 

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Steamer has him at 59/15/58/17 with a .243 average and a .298 OBP

 

If you look at his minor league OBP he's totally capable of a .350 OBP in fact .345 should be a floor if he just relaxes and does what he has shown he's capable of in the minors. So I'm penciling him in for a .250 average and a .345 OBP. If you watched his at bats there were a ton of times he struck out where he worked the count, but then just WHIFFED on a slider away or breaking ball in the dirt. I think it was classic pressing/stress at the big league level. A young roster with little expectations could do him wonders. 

 

If he does that and hits in the leadoff spot I can see a 85/16/60/20 line. If he can just be the floor of what scouts are expecting from him, he would make a very useful OF3. 

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2 hours ago, lipitorkid said:

Steamer has him at 59/15/58/17 with a .243 average and a .298 OBP

 

If you look at his minor league OBP he's totally capable of a .350 OBP in fact .345 should be a floor if he just relaxes and does what he has shown he's capable of in the minors. So I'm penciling him in for a .250 average and a .345 OBP. If you watched his at bats there were a ton of times he struck out where he worked the count, but then just WHIFFED on a slider away or breaking ball in the dirt. I think it was classic pressing/stress at the big league level. A young roster with little expectations could do him wonders. 

 

If he does that and hits in the leadoff spot I can see a 85/16/60/20 line. If he can just be the floor of what scouts are expecting from him, he would make a very useful OF3. 

 

Yeah Buxton has a .380 career MiLB OBP and a .378 AAA OBP and he doesn't turn 23 for another week.

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3 hours ago, lipitorkid said:

Steamer has him at 59/15/58/17 with a .243 average and a .298 OBP

 

If you look at his minor league OBP he's totally capable of a .350 OBP in fact .345 should be a floor if he just relaxes and does what he has shown he's capable of in the minors. So I'm penciling him in for a .250 average and a .345 OBP. If you watched his at bats there were a ton of times he struck out where he worked the count, but then just WHIFFED on a slider away or breaking ball in the dirt. I think it was classic pressing/stress at the big league level. A young roster with little expectations could do him wonders. 

 

If he does that and hits in the leadoff spot I can see a 85/16/60/20 line. If he can just be the floor of what scouts are expecting from him, he would make a very useful OF3. 

A .250 avg with a .345 OBP? So you're projecting a walk rate that's far higher than anything he's done before at any level? Those two numbers don't make sense together for Buxton and, honestly, I think they're both too high. The guy made contact on only 68% of his swings last year, and K'd in 28% of his MINOR LEAGUE plate appearances. He's got a great power speed combo that makes him worthy of a lottery ticket but there's zero signs suggesting his hit tool is anywhere close to up to snuff

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1 hour ago, mysonx3 said:

A .250 avg with a .345 OBP? So you're projecting a walk rate that's far higher than anything he's done before at any level? Those two numbers don't make sense together for Buxton and, honestly, I think they're both too high. The guy made contact on only 68% of his swings last year, and K'd in 28% of his MINOR LEAGUE plate appearances. He's got a great power speed combo that makes him worthy of a lottery ticket but there's zero signs suggesting his hit tool is anywhere close to up to snuff

I agree the minor league K rate was the most worrying thing, he didn't really deserve to get called up at all until he lowers that.

 

His potential is enormous, top 5 hitter in the game big, but he has major contact issues which won't be fixed quickly. Predicting about .230 with the potential still for 15 bombs (september homers are usually against weak pitching) and 30 steals still isn't out of the question and could make him valuable still. But I think he'll be the biggest sleeper turned non-sleeper around when he comes to draft day, the hype's always been crazy high with this kid. In other words he won't come all that cheap.

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5 hours ago, mysonx3 said:

A .250 avg with a .345 OBP? So you're projecting a walk rate that's far higher than anything he's done before at any level? Those two numbers don't make sense together for Buxton and, honestly, I think they're both too high. The guy made contact on only 68% of his swings last year, and K'd in 28% of his MINOR LEAGUE plate appearances. He's got a great power speed combo that makes him worthy of a lottery ticket but there's zero signs suggesting his hit tool is anywhere close to up to snuff

 

Okay, I'm not a math major so help me out here: 

2013 In 570 ish PAs in single A and high A he has a walk rate of 13% and a K rate of 18%. 

2014 He's hurt most of the season

2015 He jumps to AA at the age of 21 and his BB% drops to 9.7%, not great, but above average (for MLB, not sure what average is in AA) and his K% is at 19% it's pretty close to the same when he jumps to AAA in midseason and then he gets to MLB to finish the season and his K% balloons to +30%. 

2016 His BB% and K% look horrible. 

 

Now I'm not in the Twins organization, but it looks to me like either every pitcher in MLB and AAA got a perfect book on Buxton, or when he jumped to the bigs at the end of 2015 someone messed with his approach, swing, or head and he's been a mess since. I'm going to blame a jealous Torii Hunter.  But Buxton has had a great walk rate in at least one stop in the minors. Once again I'm not a math major so take my AVG/OBP with a big grain of salt, maybe if he hits .250 it's more of a 300 OBP. 

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6 hours ago, swfcdan said:

I agree the minor league K rate was the most worrying thing, he didn't really deserve to get called up at all until he lowers that.

 

His potential is enormous, top 5 hitter in the game big, but he has major contact issues which won't be fixed quickly. Predicting about .230 with the potential still for 15 bombs (september homers are usually against weak pitching) and 30 steals still isn't out of the question and could make him valuable still. But I think he'll be the biggest sleeper turned non-sleeper around when he comes to draft day, the hype's always been crazy high with this kid. In other words he won't come all that cheap.

 

Except they weren't all against weak pitchers. On the year:

 

Three garbage pitchers in James Shields (2), Jered Weaver and Ranaudo.

 

Four elite pitchers in Sale (Inside the Park), Quintana, Verlander and Salazar. One elite reliever in Herrera and one above average reliever in Robles. All in all, 10 total MLB home runs.

 

Is this 15 home run power?

http://m.mlb.com/video/v1153443483/clemin-buxton-blasts-443ft-homer-at-1085-mph

 

http://m.mlb.com/video/v1131951283/cwsmin-buxton-crushes-a-448foot-home-run

 

http://m.mlb.com/video/v1123999483/cwsmin-buxton-launches-a-threerun-tater-to-left

 

Buxton flashed the power tool for the first time in his career and hit 21 homers last year. He never had this tool before, it was all projection and his biggest question mark. I think he broke out power wise after figuring out his leg kick (aka, something changed here, pay attention). Here's more from the Winter Meetings on how the Twins could have been holding him back at the beginning of the year:

 

Q. How good can he be, would you say?

PAUL MOLITOR: I don't know how to answer that in terms of -- what you see creates the potential in your mind as far as where his talent might take him. I was somewhat jokingly at the end of the year saying I might have misgauged him a little bit in terms of what he could do because I was focused on bunting and putting the ball in play and cutting the swing down and strike outs and then he comes up and hits eight or nine home runs in September.

 

So we know there is some hit-it-over-the-fence skill that I thought might come over time, but we saw potentially it might be more frequently. So you start to measure how that's going to play out. We all know it takes a while for a player to establish his identity, whether it's more power, more average, more combination of everything, including speed and base running.

 

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/210540752/winter-meetings-interview-with-paul-molitor/

 

 

Edited by Light Tower Power
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30 minutes ago, Light Tower Power said:

 

Except they weren't all against weak pitchers. On the year:

 

Three garbage pitchers in James Shields (2), Jered Weaver and Ranaudo.

 

Four elite pitchers in Sale (Inside the Park), Quintana, Verlander and Salazar. One elite reliever in Herrera and one above average reliever in Robles. All in all, 10 total MLB home runs.

 

Is this 15 home run power?

http://m.mlb.com/video/v1153443483/clemin-buxton-blasts-443ft-homer-at-1085-mph

 

http://m.mlb.com/video/v1131951283/cwsmin-buxton-crushes-a-448foot-home-run

 

http://m.mlb.com/video/v1123999483/cwsmin-buxton-launches-a-threerun-tater-to-left

 

Buxton flashed the power tool for the first time in his career and hit 21 homers last year. He never had this tool before, it was all projection and his biggest question mark. I think he broke out power wise after figuring out his leg kick (aka, something changed here, pay attention). Here's more from the Winter Meetings on how the Twins could have been holding him back at the beginning of the year:

 

Q. How good can he be, would you say?

PAUL MOLITOR: I don't know how to answer that in terms of -- what you see creates the potential in your mind as far as where his talent might take him. I was somewhat jokingly at the end of the year saying I might have misgauged him a little bit in terms of what he could do because I was focused on bunting and putting the ball in play and cutting the swing down and strike outs and then he comes up and hits eight or nine home runs in September.

 

So we know there is some hit-it-over-the-fence skill that I thought might come over time, but we saw potentially it might be more frequently. So you start to measure how that's going to play out. We all know it takes a while for a player to establish his identity, whether it's more power, more average, more combination of everything, including speed and base running.

 

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/210540752/winter-meetings-interview-with-paul-molitor/

 

 

 

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.

Edited by Light Tower Power
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7 hours ago, lipitorkid said:

Now I'm not in the Twins organization, but it looks to me like either every pitcher in MLB and AAA got a perfect book on Buxton, or when he jumped to the bigs at the end of 2015 someone messed with his approach, swing, or head and he's been a mess since.

Or...AAA and MLB pitching is just better and able to exploit his awful plate discipline and inability to make contact...

He's got all the tools in the world, but he's given us zero reason to believe his plate discipline or contact ability is anywhere close to MLB level

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This heatmap shows that he can basically only make contact with pitches in one location. That's bad.

http://www.fangraphs.com/zonegrid.aspx?playerid=14161&position=OF&ss=&se=&type=3&hand=all&count=all&blur=1&grid=10&view=bat&pitch=&season=all

It didn't get better in September, either:

http://www.brooksbaseball.net/h_outcome.php?player=621439&time=month&minmax=ci&var=whiffswing&s_type=16&gFilt=&startDate=&endDate=

And it's not just offspeed stuff he struggles to make contact with: his whiffs per swing against fastballs was nearly double the league average. And his contact rate against offspeed stuff was well below the norm.

So he's shown a total inability to hit breaking pitches, and a total inability to hit fastballs - let alone hit them hard.

If I were scouting Buxton, I'd give him a 65 raw power grade, an 80 speed grade and a 30 hit grade. He doesn't have the plate discipline or bat-to-ball ability of a big league hitter.

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Buxton's hot streak was great but the underlying numbers show a lot of the same glaring weaknesses that he's had throughout his career. 

 

Last Year the League Average Chase Rate (O-Swing) was 30.3%.

 

During Buxton's Hot Streak he chased (according to his Zone Profile on Brooks) 86 out of 246 pitches out of the zone (35.0%)

 

Last Year the League Average Outside of the Zone Contact Was 63.9%

 

During Buxton's Hot Streak he whiffed (again, same source) he made contact on 33 of those 86 swings (38.4%). 

 

The Chasing is bad. The contact is AWFUL.

 

His overall whiff rate during his hot streak (71 Whiffs in 419 pitches) was 16.9%, which is both worse than his season 15%. No qualifying player in baseball last year had a whiff rate as high as 16.9%. His 15.0% would've tied him at 7th.

 

Check this chart out at the bottom if you think ANY of Byron Buxton's flaws are fixed:

http://www.brooksbaseball.net/plot_h_profile.php?s_type=13&gFilt=&pFilt=FA|SI|FC|CU|SL|CS|KN|CH|FS|SB&time=month&player=621439&startDate=09/01/2016&endDate=12/10/2016&minmax=ci&var=whiffswing&balls=-1&strikes=-1&b_hand=-1

 

 

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On 12/9/2016 at 4:16 PM, DerekQ said:

What is a reasonable stat line for the Byron Buxton for the 2017 season?   

 

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.  

Edited by taobball
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4 minutes ago, taobball said:

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. 

Pretty much this. He sure doesn't look like a talented player

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9 hours ago, mysonx3 said:

Pretty much this. He sure doesn't look like a talented player

 

Really not a fan of Buxton. Would only draft him if he fell really late in the draft.

Edited by Fuzzy_Slippers

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I mean listen, anyone with the speed of Buxton has upside. And at least he showed the ability to put the ball over the fence in september, so there is that. But  he hasn't showed any tool that he can hit for average. Will it start coming? Maybe. But right now pitchers are killing him in the lower third of the zone and underneath the zone and he can't figure out anything to do with it. Striking out 33.6% in your "breakout" month is a huge problem, especially in that field. 

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But still he's shown his power in september. With a full season of ABs why couldn't he go 20/30 along with a .220 AVG?

 

Would be very useful in fantasy even with poor R/RBI totals. The Twins would probably take that for next year but he'd be at the bottom of the lineup all year long.

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5 hours ago, swfcdan said:

But still he's shown his power in september. With a full season of ABs why couldn't he go 20/30 along with a .220 AVG?

 

Would be very useful in fantasy even with poor R/RBI totals. The Twins would probably take that for next year but he'd be at the bottom of the lineup all year long.

 

Because you're dealing with an absurdly small margin of error if you're hoping for 20/30 and .220, cause if he hits 12/25 at .220, you're probably sunk. If he's hitting poorly, as you said, he's very unlikely to be in line for many R/RBIs so there's not much help there either. If he gets a little unlucky in BABIP at a 30+% K% he could also threaten the mendoza line and not even hit .220. So yeah, if you told me he would get .220 20/30, I'd be interested, but not a single one of those numbers is "insured" based on what we've seen from Buxton thus far in the Bigs, and the Twins have sent him down often.

 

His Career Line now Sits at:

469 PAs, 12 HRs, 12 SBs, 60 Rs, 44 RBIs, and a .220 BA. I think there's a pretty solid chance on him surpassing that, but I don't believe he's a "bankable" player, and I don't have faith in him earning positive value. The more shallow the league, the more likely I am to take a shot early on him and hope that I can get some pretty sick upside, but considering I play in mostly deeper leagues, I can't forsee many circumstances where he goes late enough for me, because in most the leagues I play in, I'd rather have any player that has assured PT and that I'm fairly confident in simply being a positive earner at a position... I'm not all that confident Buxton is a positive earner...

 

Right now my projection for my files reads:

 

.236 BA (which includes a reduced K rate to last season and would be a new career high)

14 HRs

24 SBs.

 

And I think the floor is substantially lower than that. A handful of steals, a .200 ba, and a bomb or two wouldn't surprise me at all. Having him sent back down wouldn't surprise me at all. It's not that I don't BELIEVE in the talent, but I can't INVEST in the talent at the point we're at right now. 

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On 12/11/2016 at 0:38 AM, Fuzzy_Slippers said:

 

Really not a fan of Buxton. Would only draft him if he fell really late in the draft.

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.

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