Sunday December 3, 2023

A Healthy Byron Buxton Easily Vindicates $100M Extension

  • The 28-year-old is batting .351 with a .946 slugging percentage and six home runs.
  • The Twins signed the outfielder to a $100 million extension in November.
Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
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Last season, Twins outfielder Byron Buxton finally displayed the talent that made him MLB’s top prospect in 2014 and ’15 — and compelled Minnesota to take a long-term gamble on him despite persistent injury woes. 

Those concerns haven’t exactly gone away — he’s already missed a week this season with a right knee injury — but the good news is that Buxton’s breakout has continued into 2022.

On Sunday, he belted two home runs against the White Sox — including a titanic 10th-inning walkoff blast — to seal the Twins’ fourth consecutive victory and the AL Central lead.

Early on, Buxton is justifying November’s seven-year, $100 million extension that keeps him in Minneapolis through 2028.

  • He’s batting .351 with a .946 SLG (1st) and six HRs (T1).
  • Despite limited AB (37), he’s produced a 1.2 WAR (T5).
  • His 469-foot HR is the longest walkoff HR in the Statcast era (since 2015).

The only real knock on the 28-year-old has been his inability to stay on the field. He’s played 100-plus games just once in his eight-year career (140, 2017).

But when he’s healthy, few can match his raw talent, raising the prospect of a first AL MVP award — Buxton currently has the fourth-best odds to win (+950).

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