Byron Buxton came back to the Twins lineup and continued his case of being the best player in the Majors and earning the top spot in Week 3 of our #High/Five Top Black and brown players of the week.
When Byron Buxton’s name has been in the Twins lineup in the last two years, no player in baseball has played better and this week was a cinematic display of what he brings to the table.
Buxton was named Rob Parker’s Homeboi Highlights feature after the hitting display he put on against his AL Central rival White Sox last weekend.
If @OfficialBuck103 is playing, Minnesota @Twins are winning. The “MLBbro Stopper” came off the DL swinging some blazing wood. @robparkerfs1 talks about it on Home Boi Highlights for this week. Sponsored by our friends at @Hiddensolela pic.twitter.com/TAXneuJAoq
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) April 25, 2022
After going 4-for-4 with a home run, double, two RBI, and scoring three runs in Saturday’s game, his Sunday encore was one for the ages.
After striking out in his first three at-bats, he rose to the occasion yet again with two crunch-time home runs.
Byron Buxton is the best baseball player on this planet. pic.twitter.com/v5WR4u4EDK
— Twins Daily (@twinsdaily) April 24, 2022
His first was a two-run home run in the 7th inning that tied the game at three. Then in the bottom of the 10th inning with runners on second and third White Sox manager Tony La Russa disrespected Buxton. La Russa decided to pitch to him with a base open. The plate appearance ended with a 469ft three run walk-off home run, tracked as the longest in the Statcast era (since 2015).
Since 2019, the Minnesota Twins are 124-73 (101-win pace) with a +233 run differential when Byron Buxton plays, per @PaulHembo.
In the 203 games he hasn't played, Twins are 94-109 (75-win pace) and -97.
In his last 162 games, Buxton has 8.4 WAR. The definition of impact player.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 25, 2022
That’s just one of many impressive numbers Buxton has put on his resume over the last few seasons. Entering Thursday, the Twins are 125-73 when he plays and his Wins Above Replacement rating is higher than Mike Trout, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto during that time.
Buxton has a long way to go, but early on, he’s on pace to become the ninth player in Major League history with a WAR above 10 for a season.
Seattle’s newest captain has shown this season he can apply pressure with the bat the same way he does with his Gold Glove on defense.
Entering Thursday, Crawford found himself in fifth place in the Majors for On Base Percentage and ninth in OPS. His power numbers look like they will be up as well judging by his three no-doubter home runs in the last seven games – not to mention the impressive bat flips.
This bro continues to be a tough out and will look to keep his hot bat going agaisnt the Rays.
JP Crawford has 22 hits in 17 games this season, with a OBP of .461 – second best in the league.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) April 28, 2022
On the season, Crawford is batting .333 with those three home runs, nine RBI and nine runs scored.
3. Jazz Chisholm Jr.
This week we were taught a very valuable lesson, do not rush the “Bahamian Blur.”
The umpire during last Thursday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals was the culprit, but Yadi Molina and the baseball players were the only victims from the crime scene.
Chisholm tried to gather himself after an 0-2 pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning. The umpire hurried him into the box. After a bit of back-and-forth between the two he settled in the box and smashed a home run deep to right field.
That was one of two homers Chisholm Jr. hit last week. The other came on the first pitch of Saturday’s contest against the divisional rivals Braves.
Entering Thursday, Chisholm’s 1.029 OPS is the ninth highest in the Majors. His average sits at .308 with 15 RBI and four home runs.
4. Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge is playing for a bag this season. Not just any bag, he wants to be paid as the top player in baseball. He finally got on the home run board this week.
Judge kicked off his 30th birthday weekend with two home runs against the Cleveland Guardians Friday night. He then made one of the biggest plays of the season when he stood up to Yankee Stadium Bleacher Creatures in right field who were throwing stuff at a Guardians outfielder after the Yankees walk-off win.
During his last seven games last year’s American League Silver Slugger has a .360 batting average with three home runs, five RBI, three walks and .429 On Base Percentage.
5. Josiah Gray
Coming into Thursday, Gray ranks seventh in strikeouts among all pitchers.
He tied a career high with 10 strikeouts in his start Wednesday against the Bahamian Blurs’ Marlins.
Chisholm applied pressure to Gray with a lead off bunt single in his start this week against the Miami Marlins. Gray settled down, striking out the next two batters, throwing 23 of his first 27 pitches for strikes and allowing no runs through the first two innings.
For the first time this year a team hit Gray around a little. He finished allowing seven hits in 5.2 innings while giving up four runs and three walks.
His next start will be Sunday in the Bay against the San Francisco Giants.