But the hype lead to disappointment as Buxton struggled to make an immediate impact at the big league level, especially at the plate. The 21-year-old centerfielder started his career with a .120 batting average through eight games. Then “Monday Night Baseball” came to Target Field and put the Buxton and the Twins in front of a national audience last night. It was then that the former first round pick put on a show for all of America to see.
Batting in the leadoff spot for the first time in his career, Buxton dug in and ripped a double to right field. This showed off his tremendous speed and there were many players in the league who wouldn’t have been able to stretch that hit into two bases. Just moments later, Brian Dozier drove him home with a single and Minnesota had set the tone by scoring the first of 13 runs on the evening.
But offense wasn’t the only aspect of Buxton’s game that the country was introduced to last night and he came up with the game’s most impressive defensive play when the Twins needed him the most. The Chicago White Sox had a two out rally going and had already scored two runs in the third inning. Alexi Rameriez drove a single to center field and Melky Cabrera was waved home only to be gunned down by the powerful right arm of Buxton, who threw a strike from centerfield to end the inning.
The floodgates poured open after that play, which proved to be a turning point. Minnesota outscored Chicago 12-0 after that point and Buxton was right in the middle of it all, finishing the game by going 3-for-5 with three runs scored. It marked his first career multi-hit game.
He might be experience growing pains as he adapts to the Major League game, but Byron Buxton has it all and the whole country witnessed it on ESPN2 last night as the 21-year old finally lived up to all the hype. The Twins have already had a promising season and have turned heads by staying in the playoff race for this long, but last night made the future look even brighter for Minnesota.