Byron Buxton May Have Had A Historic 2021 Season If Not For Accidents

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Byron Buxton #25 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates after scoring a run off a sacrifice fly by Mitch Garver against the Detroit Tigers in the third inning of the game at Target Field on September 28, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
(Picture by David Berding/Getty Pictures)


Staying on the sector has all the time been a battle for Minnesota Twins star Byron Buxton.

The 27-year-old has performed in seven seasons on the MLB stage, however just one time has he been in a position to eclipse the 100-game mark.

That has been a irritating theme for him ever since he broke into the massive leagues, and it grew to become an particularly disappointing concern in 2021.

That’s as a result of the previous first-round decide might have had a traditionally good marketing campaign if accidents hadn’t gotten in the way in which.

It’s arduous to not surprise what sort of 12 months Buxton might have had in 2021 if he’d been in a position to keep on the sector.


Buxton’s 2021 Season In A Nutshell

Accidents restricted Buxton to only 61 video games in 2021.

In different phrases, he was solely in a position to play in about 38 % of Minnesota’s video games.

He made the many of the video games he did play in, nonetheless.

He slashed .306/.358/.647 en path to a 1.005 OPS and 171 OPS+.

The outfielder homered 19 instances and doubled 23 instances.

He additionally made an immense affect along with his glove, as he posted a 1.2 defensive bWAR to go together with 10 Defensive Runs Saved.

When all was stated and executed, Buxton completed the season with an general bWAR of 4.5.

When you think about the truth that he solely performed in 61 video games, a WAR of 4.5 is borderline incomprehensible.

A 4.5 WAR over 61 video games scales to a 12.0 WAR over a full 162-game season.

Learn that once more.

For context, Los Angeles Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani — who received the 2021 AL MVP award in a landslide — completed the 12 months with a bWAR of 9.1.

For additional context, solely three place gamers in MLB historical past have completed a season with a bWAR of 12.0 or greater.

These gamers are Babe Ruth, Carl Yastrzemski, and Rogers Hornsby.

It hasn’t occurred since 1967.

It’s a disgrace Buxton didn’t get an opportunity to play a full season in 2021 and doubtlessly etch his identify into baseball historical past.

He’s clearly a really particular participant.


What’s Subsequent For Buxton?

Let’s state the apparent: Buxton must discover a method to avoid injures going ahead.

If he can do this, he’ll have an opportunity to ascertain himself as one of many league’s prime gamers.

However well being points apart, there’s one different huge unknown.

Buxton is a free agent after the 2022 season, and it stays to be seen how for much longer he’s going to seek out himself carrying a Twins uniform.

Ryan Fagan of Sporting Information not too long ago defined the dilemma.

“If Buxton ever places collectively a few wholesome seasons, his might simply win a number of MVP awards,” Fagan wrote. “However that’s the rub. He hasn’t stayed wholesome, an array of various accidents hamstringing his alternative to achieve his potential. He’s performed greater than 87 video games in a season solely as soon as. How do you determine a contract for a participant like that? The Twins would like to get an incentive-laden extension executed, but when Buxton is definitely wholesome in 2022, some crew would pay him vital assured long-term cash heading into his Age 29 season in 2023. So, contemplating that it looks as if a stretch to see the Twins as contenders in 2022 — the beginning pitching is as skinny as any crew within the bigs — possibly they simply commerce Buxton, in the event that they discover a crew prepared to gamble that he’ll be wholesome subsequent 12 months. They will’t promote low, after all.”

Minnesota chosen Buxton with the No. 2 general decide within the 2012 draft, and he has spent his whole skilled profession with the group.

For Twins followers, it might positively be unusual to see him enjoying for one more crew (whether or not that’s in 2022 or past), however that risk appears to be on the desk.

Wherever he finally ends up spending the remainder of his profession, everybody ought to root for this man to remain wholesome.

The sky is the restrict for him if he can.

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