Thursday, September 1, 2016

Buxton and Bradley

Buxton's back. The Twins recalled Byron Buxton from Triple A Rochester late Wednesday. Since today is Sept. 1, they don't have to open a spot on the 25-man roster for him.

On Wednesday afternoon I watched (on MLB Network) the Red Sox beat the Rays. Jackie Bradley Jr. homered and doubled for Boston, and it occurred to me that JBJ had similar growing pains to Buxton.

To be specific:

2013: Bradley (age 23 season) appears in 37 major league games for the Red Sox, hits .189.
2014: The Sox hand Bradley the center field job. He slashes a dismal .198/.265/.266.
2015: Bradley splits the season between Triple A and the majors. He produces in Triple A (.305/.382/.472) but struggles in the American League again, although with power (.249/.335/.498).
2016: Bradley emerges, making the All-Star team. (He had a poor August, however, hitting under .200 for the month).

The comp isn't perfect. Bradley's a left-handed hitter, Buxton right. Buxton's struggles have come in his age 21 and 22 seasons -- ages at which Bradley was not getting big league time. And Bradley plays his home games in Fenway Park, a very favorable environment for a left-handed hitter.

Still, I presume you can see my point. Buxton has struggled to hit major league pitching so far. So did Bradley, for three years. But the Sox stuck with Bradley, and now they have a very good center fielder. Patience may be a difficult virtue, but it's a vital one.


  1. Especially when it seems the team might not win as many games in September as the Minnesota Viqueens.

  2. That is the answer to all the Twins problems ... patience.

    Problem was, an aging good team suddenly devastated with player concussions and other injuries that caused the Twins to plummet in the standings.

    Then, players, even highly rated members in their farm system, have not been ready for the bigs.

    So, we are left with a team playing putrid baseball for a few seasons, more than we care to watch.

  3. Or perhaps completely clueless player development ideas and absolutely no plan for who will play where. Is Sano a third-baseman or a right fielder? The team suddenly decides the latter without playing him in that position in the minors. Polanco is a second-baseman in the minors but since they have Dozier established there, they bring up Polanco and suddenly throw him into shortstop even though he never played there in the minors.

    Just two examples of decisions that induce profound head-scratching.