November 9, 2017

Of course the Twins’ Byron Buxton won a Gold Glove award

Byron Buxton, the star-in the-making center fielder for the Twins, won a Gold Glove award this week — much to no one’s surprise in Twins Territory and to other Twins fans around the world (well, maybe).

And you can crunch all the numbers you want about how the data supports awarding Buxton his first Gold Glove. Or, you can just watch the spectacular catches he made all season long. Like this one, or this one, or this one, or this one, or this one, or my personal favorite.

Meanwhile, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier also won his first Gold Glove. No doubt Dozier deserves the award, but I was so busy watching Buxton make great plays, or waiting for his next great play, that I didn’t pay much attention to the work Dozier did.

In his case, I’m going to have to haul out the numbers on his defensive abilities. They seem impressive.

According to MLB.com:

Dozier, 30, played in 152 games this season, committing just five errors at second base in 674 total chances and 1,311.0 innings played. He was tied for fewest errors in all of baseball among second basemen with at least 1,000.0 innings played and ranked third in both innings at the position and double plays turned (109). Since the start of 2015, he ranks second among AL second basemen in fielding percentage (.990).

Oh, what the hell. Here’s how Buxton did, too, according to MLB.com:

Buxton, 23, played 137 games in centerfield this season, committing just five errors with six outfield assists in 400 total chances and 1,143.0 innings played. He ranked third in all of baseball in defensive runs saved (24) and second among outfielders. His .951 Zone Rating was the fourth-best for a centerfielder in baseball history and best since Gabe Kapler in 1999 (.953). The Twins Heart and Hustle Award representative was named the club’s 2017 winner of the Jim Kaat Award as Twins Defensive Player of the Year, as awarded by the Twin Cities Chapter of the BBWAA.

Buxton is 23. I hope he remains a member of the Twins for years to come.

Extra innings…

-Twins reliever Michael Tonkin is headed to Japan, continuing a long tradition of former major league baseball players finding a second career in the Land of the Rising Sun. MLB.com reports that Tonkin’s contract will be sold to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.