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).