What will it take to convince you that Twins center fielder Byron Buxton has turned a new leaf?
If he hits .300? If he chases down fly balls with record speed? Or if he goes 5-for-5 with two home runs and drives in 10 runs in early exhibition play?
If that last sentence meets your standard, you’re in luck because that’s exactly what Buxton has delivered. He drove in five runs in his spring training debut, then did it again Monday versus the Baltimore Orioles. He had three hits, including a double and home run, and knocked in five more to beat the O’s 7-1.
“I don’t care if these are Spring Training games or what kind of games they are,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli told MLB.com on Monday. “He looks like he’s having fun from the time he comes in the dugout pregame until we slap him five and he goes back in. He’s obviously swung the bat really well, and I think it’s a nice way to start the spring for him. He looks great.”
Buxton had a breakout season in 2017 and struggled in 2018, both at the plate and with injuries.
-Buxton isn’t the only Twin off to a quick start this spring. Max Kepler homered twice on Sunday in a loss to the Boston Red Sox and Eddie Rosario hit two doubles on Monday. Pitcher Jose Berrios picked up the win.
Max Kepler has two home runs in two ABs today. Byron Buxton ripped ball last night, with five RBI. Miguel Sano in best condition since 2015 and ready to be turned loose.
Bottom line: American League has been put on notice.
— Reusse (@Patrick_Reusse) February 24, 2019