Always, I’m happy to write about Byron Buxton. Unheralded and under-appreciated, he’s one of the biggest difference makers in the sport when he’s healthy and on the field.
Therefore, it wasn’t lost upon us when he returned from the 10-day IL and helped the Minnesota Twins take down the Chicago White Sox 3-2 in a key division game in the tight AL Central.
First, the Buxton catch that we should have written about the night-of.
Equally important, Buxton collected two knocks and an RBI that won the Twins the game. In all, he hit three balls off the bat that were over 100 miles per hour on Statcast.
Sure, the Twins probably don’t utilize Buxton in the right way by hitting him down in the lineup. His numbers aren’t ‘jump off the page’ phenomenal right now. Moreover, the franchise seems to be nursing him through the season in not playing him every day so that he’s healthy for October.
Of course, there is reason for this. The Twins’ winning percentage when Buxton is in the lineup is astronomical. Still just 26 years old, he makes a difference on both sides of the ball like few others in the game.
The Twins took both games of a doubleheader on Friday night against the Detroit Tigers. Indeed, they will be part of the American League playoff field in October.
And if Buxton is in the lineup, make sure you don’t miss a moment. While it hasn’t been a linear path to superstardom and certainly doesn’t always show up in the box score, he’s a phenomenal baseball player who should be remembered for moments like he had the other night.