Byron Buxton Extremely Confident He’s Ready for Center Field Duties Again

byron buxton Minnesota Twins
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Byron Buxton hasn’t played centerfield in the Major Leagues since August of 2022, but after he spent all of 2023 struggling through DH duties, the Minnesota Twins have made it clear that their plan heading into 2024 Spring Training is for Buck to, in the least, play part-time center field.

Related: Rocco Baldelli Would Bet on Twins Making a Significant Move Before Spring Training

On Friday night at Twinsfest, when asked if he’d be playing defense this spring, Byron came off as even more confident than his manager or president of baseball operations, saying “oh yeah, I’m back”.

Byron Buxton ready to be Minnesota Twins center fielder again

As a designated hitter last season, Buxton posted a career low (seasons > 100 PA) batting average of .207, along with his worst OBP since 2020, worst slugging percentage since 2017 and his worst OPS+ since 2017. It’s safe to say the designated hitter experiment was a complete and utter failure.

But the Minnesota Twins hope that getting Byron back in center field will lead to better results at the plate. From what we’ve seen throughout his career, Buck’s proficiency as a baseball player has to do with his health. Yes, he was able to play in over half (barely) of the Twins’ games last season. But even when he was in the lineup last season, he was far from 100%. Let’s be real, Buxton would have been in the outfield, had he been anywhere near healthy.

Related: Twins Interested in Jake Odorizzi, Who Impressed in Recent Showcase

If whatever recent cleanup procedure fixed the chronic pain he feels in his knee when putting regular strain on it, and Buxton can keep himself out of walls and from further injury, I’d imagine he will be much closer to the player we remember, than what he was last year.

But, only time will tell. Spring training begins in less than one month.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: