Byron Buxton had epic struggles at the plate to begin last season, hitting .147 with a .433 OPS in the first month while striking out in 37 percent of his plate appearances. The Twins kept him in the lineup for his defense -- he was the top outfielder in baseball by most advanced metrics. Buxton completely changed his swing in May, dropping his leg kick and almost starting from scratch with some awkward initial at-bats. The radical changes helped as Buxton hit .300 with 11 home runs, an .893 OPS and a 27.6 percent strikeout rate after the All-Star break. Buxton may be the fastest player in the majors, which allows him to be supremely efficient on the basepaths, where he stole 29 bases on 30 attempts. Despite his second half renaissance, Buxton still has work to do with pitch recognition, which would lead to fewer strikeouts and more walks. Given his pedigree (No. 2 overall pick in 2012) and rare power-speed combo, Buxton's upside appears unlimited entering his age-24 season.
Buxton is 7-for-22 (.318) with a home run and three stolen bases through nine spring training games. Fresh off his breakout campaign in which he popped 16 homers and stole 29 bases while providing elite defense in center field, Buxton appears to be carrying over his strong performance into 2018. Though spring training results aren't necessarily indicative of regular-season success, it is nice to see the streaky hitter getting off to a productive start. If Buxton can translate his 2017 second-half performance into a full 2018 campaign, he'll entrench himself as one of the premier fantasy outfielders.
Tests revealed Buxton did not suffer a fractured rib following a collision with the outfield wall during Tuesday's wild-card game against the Yankees, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports. While an earlier report indicated Buxton was dealing with a cracked rib, Saturday's test results seem to indicate otherwise, which is encouraging news. He should be able to resume his normal offseason work after a short recovery.
Buxton played through a cracked rib after crashing into the outfield wall during Tuesday's wild-card game against the Yankees, Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reports. Although Buxton was officially removed with upper-back tightness, it appears as though the center fielder instead suffered a cracked rib while making a spectacular play to rob Todd Frazier of extra bases. Since the Twins have been eliminated from the playoffs, this injury shouldn't have any fantasy impact, but it will just mean a longer recovery for Buxton. He will be good to go for spring training.
Buxton, who suffered from upper-back tightness in the Twins' loss to the Yankees in the American League wild-card game Tuesday, will likely undergo further tests in the days to come, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Buxton sustained the injury upon slamming into the wall while making a catch and was lifted from the game after three innings. With the Twins returning to Minnesota on Wednesday, Buxton will be reexamined by team doctors to determine if the outfielder is dealing with anything more than tightness heading into the offseason. Buxton didn't express much concern about the injury after the game, so for now, the expectation remains that he'll enter spring training at full health. Thanks largely to a big second half, Buxton ended up improving his all-around production in 2017, slashing .253/.314/.413 with 16 home runs, 51 RB1, 69 runs and a 29-for-30 success rate on stolen bases.
Buxton left Tuesday's wild-card game against the Yankees with an undisclosed injury, Joe Trezza of MLB.com reports. Buxton collided with the wall while making a catch during the second inning and is now dealing with some lingering discomfort. While specifics on the injury haven't been released, Buxton was replaced by Zack Granite in center field to start the bottom of the fourth inning.