Young Twins Tracker: Buxton breaking through

BY foxsports • June 9, 2016

The Minnesota Twins are reshaping their franchise with an injection of youth and prospects.

Every Thursday for the rest of the season, FOX Sports North will take a closer look at some specific young players -- as well as noting others who might be stepping up -- measuring, highlighting and evaluating their progress. Please note the glossary of advanced stats at the bottom of the story.

This is the eighth edition of the Young Twins Tracker.

IN THE MAJORS

Byron Buxton (age 22)

Last week: 7 games, 28 PA, 26 AB, .346 BA, .333 OBP, .500 SLG, .833 OPS

Season (Triple-A): 29 games, 129 PA, .336 BA, .403 OBP, .603 SLG, 1.007 OPS, 9 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 14 RBI, 4 SB, 11 BB, 26 SO

Season (MLB): 25 G, 81 PA, 75 AB, .227 BA, .253 OBP, .373 SLG, .626 OPS, 8 R, 17 H, 5 2B, 3 3B, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 3 SB, 2 BB, 34 SO, 68 OPS+, 0.1 WAR, .405 BAbip

Notable: Buxton has finally found his swing, while his speed is already making a big impact. The rookie stretched a pair of base hits into standup triples last week, while racking up nine hits through 26 at-bats.

 

Max Kepler (age 22)

Last week: 5 games, 17 PA, 15 AB, .133 BA, .235 OBP, .133 SLG, .369 OPS

Season (Triple-A): 30 G, 128 PA, 110 AB, .282 BA, .367 OBP, .455 SLG, .822 OPS, 16 R, 31 H, 4 2B, 6 3B, 1 HR, 19 RBI, 1 SB, 16 BB, 14 SO

Season (MLB): 16 G, 29 PA, 35 AB, .171 BA, .256 OBP, .257 SLG, .514 OPS, 2 R, 6 H, 3 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB, 4 BB 14 SO, 42 OPS+, 0.0 WAR, .286 BAbip

Notable: Kepler had a quiet week, picking up just two hits and two walks, while striking out six times in games against Tampa Bay and Miami.

 

Miguel Sano (age 22)

Last week: N/A

Season: 50 G, 211 PA, 179 AB, .235 BA, .341 OBP, .458 SLG, .799 OPS, 25 R, 42 H, 7 2B, 0 3B, 11 HR, 27 RBI, 1 SB, 29 BB, 71 SO, 117 OPS+, 0.9 WAR, .313 BAbip

Notable: There's been little news on Sano since his hamstring injury, with recent reports suggesting that the Twins' slugger could be in for a lengthy absence.

 

DOWN ON THE FARM

Jose Berrios (age 22/Triple-A)

Last week: 1 game (1 start), 1-0, 2.25 ERA, 8.0 IP, 3 H, 2 HR, 2 R, 1 BB, 11 K

Season (Triple-A): 7 games (7 starts), 4-2, 3.07 ERA, 41.0 IP, 1.195 WHIP, 10.1 K/9

Notable: Berrios struck out a season-high 11 batters, yielding just two solo home runs in his first start of eight or more innings since May 2015. It came after his worst start of the minor-league season on May 31, when he allowed 10 hits and seven earned runs in five innings.

 

Nick Burdi (age 23/Double-A)

Last week: N/A

Season: 3 games (no starts), 1-0, 9.00 ERA, 3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 HR, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1.32 WHIP

Notable: The Chattanooga Lookouts placed Burdi on the seven-day disabled list May 5 for a bone bruise on his right humerus. He hasn't pitched since.

 

Stephen Gonsalves (age 21/High Single-A)

Last week: 1 game (1 start), 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 9 K, 0.429 WHIP

Season: 10 games (10 starts), 5-3, 1.93 ERA, 60.2 IP, 38 H, 15 R, 2 HR, 18 BB, 58 K, 0.923 WHIP

Notable: Gonsalves had one of his best outings of the year this past Saturday but was charged with a loss. He was named a Florida State League All-Star.

 

Nick Gordon (age 20/High Single-A)

Last week: 5 games, 16 AB, 3 H, 0 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1 SB, .286 BA

Season: 46 games, 182 AB, .280 BA, .332 OBP, .401 SLG, .733 OPS, 22 R, 51 H, 10 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 7 SB, 11 BB, 37 SO

Notable: Gordon remains the Miracle's leader in hits with 51, but the 20 year old had a tough week at the plate, managing just three hits in 16 at-bats.

 

Tyler Jay (age 22/High Single-A)

Last week: 1 game (1 start), 8 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K, 1.06 WHIP

Season: 10 games (10 starts), 57 2/3 IP, 48 H, 15 R, 2 HR, 16 BB, 59 K, 2.18 ERA

Notable: Jay topped the Brevard County Manatees on Wednesday in his 10th start of the season, pitching six innings while allowing seven hits and hitting two batters.

 

Alex Meyer (age 26/Triple-A)

Last week: N/A

Season (Triple-A): 3 games (2 starts), 1-1, 1.04 ERA, 17 1/3 IP, 0.865 WHIP, 11 H, 0 HR, 4 BB, 19 K

Season (MLB): 2 games (1 starts), 1-1, 12.27 ERA, 3 2/3 IP, 3.273 WHIP, 8 H, 1 HR, 4 BB, 15 K

Notable: Rochester placed Meyer on the seven-day disabled list last Friday with right shoulder inflammation. He hasn't pitched in a game since his May 3 start for the Twins.

 

Jorge Polanco (age 22)

Last week: 7 games, 29 AB, 2 R, 11 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 6 SO, .319 BA

Season (Triple-A): 29 games, 109 AB, .330 BA, .382 OBP, .523 SLG, .905 OPS, 13 R, 36 H, 5 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 11 BB, 20 SO

Season (MLB): 13 games, 32 PA, .231 BA, .344 OBP, .462 SLG, .805 OPS, 3 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 4 R, 4 RBI, 1 SB, 4 BB, 3 K, 120 OPS+, .217 BAbip, 0.3 WAR.

Notable: Polanco's nine-game hitting streak came to an end last Thursday, but he started swinging again almost immediately, racking up 11 hits in the following six games.

 

Eddie Rosario (age 24/Triple-A)

Last week: 6 games, 26 AB, 7 R, 9 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 SB, .322 BA

Season (Triple-A): 19 games, 81 AB, .321 BA, .317 OBP, .543 SLG, .860 OPS, 12 R, 26 H, 9 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 0 BB, 12 K

Season (MLB): 32 games, 121 PA, .200 BA, .218 OBP, .313 SLG, .532 OPS, 4 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 15 R, 9 RBI, 3 SB, 3 BB, 31 K, .244 BAbip, 45 OPS+, -0.7 WAR

Notable: Rosario has reached base in all but four games since being sent to Rochester, and he kept right on swinging last week, reaching base nine times in six games and smacking three doubles.

 

Kohl Stewart (age 21/Double-A)

Last week: 1 game (1 start), 0-0, 4 ER, 1 2/3 IP, 4 H, 0 HR, 3 BB, 3 K

Season (Single-A): 9 games (9 starts), 3-2, 2.61 ERA, 51 2/3 IP, 39 H, 19 R, 2 HR, 19 BB, 44 K, 1.12 WHIP

Season (Double-A): 1 game (1 start), 0-0, 21.60 ERA, 1 2/3 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 0 HR, 3 BB, 3 K, 4.200 WHIP

Notable: Stewart struggled in his first Double-A start, tying his season high with four earned runs and pitching just 1 2/3 innings. The good news? He was named an All-Star in the High-A Florida State League.

 

Adam Walker (age 24/Triple-A)

Last week: 6 games, 19 AB, 3 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 11 SO, 0 SB, .212 BA

Season (Triple-A): 50 games, 176 AB, 37 H, 5 2B, 1 3B, 12 HR, 25 R, 26 RBI, 19 BB, 87 SO, 2 SB, .210 BA

Notable: Walker had just three hits last week, but now ranks second in the International League with 12 home runs.

 

A glossary of some of the advanced statistics used:

OPS: On base percentage + slugging percentage

OPS+: OPS compared to league average of 100, adjusted to the player's ballpark

sOPS+: OPS for the split (in our case the last 7 days) compared to the league's split OPS (100 being average).

BAbip: Batting average on balls in play.

WHIP: Walks plus hits divided by innings pitched.

ERA+: ERA compared to league average of 100, adjusted to the player's ballpark

FIP: Fielding Independent Pitching. Measures a pitcher's effectiveness at presenting home runs, walks and hit by pitches while causing strikeouts. The MLB average FIP is the same as the MLB average ERA.

WAR: Wins Above Replacement value. Represents the number of wins the player added to the team above what a replacement player would add (we are using WAR from baseball-reference.com).

Statistics courtesy baseball-reference.com and milb.com



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