Byron Buxton, Steamer Projections

I enjoy these Toolshed articles from Sam Dykstra, and here’s a quick note on Buxton, who will be tough to value in 2017.

If you were hoping 2016 would be the season Buxton would realize his potential, you’ll have to be a bit more patient. The former No. 1 overall prospect was projected to produce a .258/.309/.398 line with a 92 wRC+ and 1.7 WAR, if given 600 plate appearances. As of Thursday, he had a .218/.271/.396 line and 74 wRC+ in 314 plate appearances – not especially rosy for a player deemed the sport’s next five-tool star. But there’s hope. For one, he’s still only 22. Second, the Twins center fielder has provided solid value defensively, as expected. Third, he’s been quite impressive since rejoining Minnesota for September roster expansions, specifically when it comes to power. Since the start of the month, Buxton sports a .273/.326/.580 line with seven homers in 25 games (96 plate appearances). He had gone deep only once in his previous 218 plate appearances in 2016. So yes, Buxton hasn’t lived up to expectations in 2016 as a whole, but if his end to the season is any indication, the Twins might still have their franchise cornerstone.

Buxton has had a very tough first week. Rest of season it looks like Steamer is punishing him the hardest, with just a .293 wOBA projected the rest of the way. Zips still believes in a much higher BABIP, but is otherwise similar. Anyone still buying Buxton going forward?