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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

In season of special performances — Shohei Ohtani, Jacob deGrom, etc. — injuries to Twins’ Byron Buxton seem especially cruel

It’s all very, very exciting. The future of the sport is so very bright.

And yet? Byron Buxton landed on the injured list again Tuesday. Big deal, you might say. Wake me when he’s not on the shelf, you might say. Water is wet, Buxton is hurt, you might say.

Shut up, I definitely will say.

Buxton is special. He’s a special talent, and he’s a special player who has had to work harder to overcome more injury obstacles than any two or three normal players combined. He’s earned a long-awaited breakthrough season.

And for a short time this spring, it looked like 2021 might actually be his year. In the 24 games to start the season before he landed on the IL, Buxton hit .370 with nine homers, five stolen bases and a 1.180 OPS. His graceful stride was again patrolling the outfield for the Twins. It was glorious.

Buxton was the Byron we’ve always known he could be, fulfilling the talent that made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft and a top-two spot in Baseball America’s prospect rankings for three straight years.

MORE FAGAN: What should we expect from Wander Franco?

But then, the hip injury. Buxton missed 40 games. He came back and went 3-for-9 in his first two games, with a double, a homer and two RBIs. In his third at-bat of his third game back, though, he was hit on the hand by a 94-mph Tyler Mahle fastball.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli called it a “boxer’s fracture,” a broken bone (base of the fifth metacarpal of his left hand.

“This isn’t fair,” Baldelli said in his postgame press conference.

Damn right it isn’t. Downright cruel, actually.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 22, 2021 at 04:55 PM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: byron buxton

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   1. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: June 23, 2021 at 12:24 AM (#6025892)
This is really the best case scenario for Ohtani which is pretty awesome to see. After not really having good control to start the season, he has been much better in that aspect. He's also crushing the ball as a hitter. I didn't think someone could be really good at both hitting and pitching in modern baseball.
   2. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 23, 2021 at 01:11 AM (#6025895)
What Ohtani is doing is unbelievable. It’s almost as impressive as being a star in two different sports, Maybe just as impressive.
   3. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 23, 2021 at 10:17 AM (#6025912)
Buxton's natural state is injured, isn't it? It would be more surprising to see him play several months in a row. He's talented like, and more fragile than, Eric Davis.
   4. TomH Posted: June 23, 2021 at 11:01 AM (#6025914)
I can squint and see the Eric Davis parallel, but... the difference in hitting is huge. Eric the Red had a career 140 OPS+ by age 28. Buxton is at 100.
   5. Rally Posted: June 23, 2021 at 11:20 AM (#6025916)
Buxton has what looks like a full season over the last 3 years. 153 games played, 282/322/581, 33 homers, 92 RBI, 44 doubles, 139 OPS+. Also +26 on defense for an 8.1 WAR. If he actually did that in a real year, he's an MVP candidate. But his strikeout to walk numbers during that time (129 - 25) make it hard to believe it's real. Davis struck out a lot but he knew the strike zone and took his walks. He was believable as a top tier hitter. Buxton, not so much, I just have my doubts about a guy who swings at everything being able to maintain the power numbers he's shown in brief samples over the last 2-3 years.
   6. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: June 23, 2021 at 12:02 PM (#6025926)
Re 2: It's like he's scoring goals for the NY Rangers, then messin' around and getting a triple-double the next night (in the same arena!) for the Knicks.
   7. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 23, 2021 at 02:43 PM (#6025954)
If he actually did that in a real year, he's an MVP candidate. But his strikeout to walk numbers during that time (129 - 25) make it hard to believe it's real.



what does this even mean? you obviously posted numbers to say his last season worth of AB he hit 33 HRs. Were those not real? what about his 44 doubles? Were some of those not real? I dont get.

If you mean to say, in the offensive environment of the 1980s, or say some other era, that Buxton's take and rake style would not work. OK maybe that's a pt. But timelining and all that entails is problemetical.

Still, I could see that as an argument. But the way you've put it out there like there's some magic to the K/BB ratio is just strange. Is there some reference to this somewhere? I cant imagine that there is but go ahead prove me wrong.
   8. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: June 23, 2021 at 03:10 PM (#6025962)
He means that even if he was healthy, Buxton wouldn't be able to keep up that pace. For his career Gallo is 763/306, Dunn was 2379/1317. Good hitters need better strike zone judgment than Buxton has got.
   9. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: June 23, 2021 at 03:32 PM (#6025967)
Right. And having one seasons worth of ABs spread out over such a long time *might* mean he wouldn't have done that if he were forced to within one season.
   10. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 23, 2021 at 04:07 PM (#6025974)
Right. And having one seasons worth of ABs spread out over such a long time *might* mean he wouldn't have done that if he were forced to within one season.


but that has nothing to do with K/BB ratio. You can say that about anybody who needs 3 seasons to compile a full season. You could say that about Eddie Jost or Joe Sewell if they were missing a hundred games a year. Cause, you know, they cant put together anything consistent.
   11. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 23, 2021 at 04:24 PM (#6025983)
For his career Gallo is 763/306, Dunn was 2379/1317


Adam Duval 162/666. Which of his stats are not "real?"
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: June 23, 2021 at 04:42 PM (#6025987)
I took "real" to mean true talent level, rather than it was something that didn't happen. And, given that kind of poor strike zone command, it probably would be difficult for Buxton to repeat that stretch of hitting over a full year.

Rally can correct me if I'm wrong.
   13. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 23, 2021 at 05:53 PM (#6025999)
OK well I will turn off my facetious mode and delve into a little more. Obviously Rally and Sosh are serious sabr people and ziggy and moses always seems like serious guys.

I mean, obviously BUxton has some poor strike zone command. But then again we live in an era where its profitable to swing and miss because HRs are flying out of the park at extraordinary rates. Or at least they were until this year. So its hard to imagine Buxton existing in a low HR era say the first dead ball era. Or the 1960s. I guess.

But there is a problem because if Buxton did exist in 1965 would he be swinging this hard? Clearly nobody existed in the 1960s with that sort of K/bb ratio. At least no one I recall offhand. If we project Buxton to 1965 does he still KO what 130 times a year? and instead of 33 HRs he hits what 20? I guess... Timelining is hard, because off assumptions we make that may or may not be true.

But obviously existing in 2021, one can have a much higher K rate and be productive. I mean we all agree on that right? So Buxton's K rate is high, but not extraordinary and his K/bb ratio is out of whack to say the least.

I've never been real big on K/bb ratios myself. I dont see why they are somehow special. Like for pitchers. Pitchers have a K rate, its good to have a high K rate. they have BB rate, its good to be low. You have some sort of combination of Ks and BBs and you hope that's enuf to be a good pitcher I guess.

I dont see anything special or magical about some theoretical k/bb ratio for batters or hitters.

Or put it this way: is Buxton's k/bb ratio any more "true talent" than his power numbers? or his HR rate? I mean sure BUxton is problematical cause he's missing tons of games. I dont see the k/bb ratio.

Its also possible that having a huge K rate might mean someone is getting worse or perhaps pitchers have "figured" him out. You can look at K rates in the 1980s and Schmidt seems to be the only one I recall that could function at a K rate above 25%, everyone else at that rate is on their way out of baseball. Thats what I recall. But Buxton's K rate is not horrible, its above average but its not like horrible. So I dunno

Anyhow, that's about all I got but i'd definitely like to continue this and see what you think.
   14. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 23, 2021 at 06:11 PM (#6026002)
Buxton's batting numbers are like a law school final exam for sabermetricians. So many questions.

His babip is unstainable at .420, no one can sustain that.

His HR rate is 9.5% or whatever and probably not sustainable.

We have 110 data pts for 2021 which is very small sample.

If you throw out 2018 which seems like an aberration, it looks like he can sustain a .320 babip which is not unthinkable.

if you assume he can babip .320 then he's a .300 hitter and that seems more like a dream than reality.

BUxton's current season certainly seems like an aberration but he's also age 27 so somewhere near his peak.

I dunno, there are so many questions I dont think k/bb ratio is any sort of answer to; who is Buxton as a hitter?
   15. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: June 23, 2021 at 06:57 PM (#6026008)
I read talk of Buxton's k/bb as shorthand for everything you just acknowledged. It takes otherworldly on-contact numbers to maintain a 140 ops+ with that kind of K/BB. Doesn't make it impossible, but it's cause for skepticism.

On another note, I vote for you to leave your default facetious mode set to "off."
   16. BDC Posted: June 23, 2021 at 07:26 PM (#6026014)
Buxton's last "season" worth of PAs would fit in well with Dave Kingman at the same age, except that Buxton has hit a lot more doubles & hence a higher BA.

Which is to say he's interesting. Kingman had a long career despite his weaknesses. If Buxton = Kingman + some doubles + actually a nice guy, he could do very well. If he is ever healthy ...
   17. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 23, 2021 at 09:05 PM (#6026025)
On another note, I vote for you to leave your default facetious mode set to "off."


well yeah, ok, you have a point, my dear. And moreover, I would like to explore that concept about bb/k ratio cause I think Rally owes us a bit more elaboration on that. WHich is to say that I realize that Buxton's ratio is an aberration but we live in a different baseball era. And I dont think there's a per se rule that somehow means his numbers are some sort of aberration or some sort of babip outlier or something.

He's clearly a babip outlier, yes, but I dont think bb/k is really how to figure that.

OK so if Buxton was 27 years old and lived in the mid 1960s who would he be?
   18. RJ in TO Posted: June 23, 2021 at 09:47 PM (#6026027)
In 1965, the K/BB ratio for MLB was ~ 2:1. In 2021, that ratio is ~ 2.7:1. So Buxton is currently at a K/BB over the last three years of 5:1, or 10:1 if we use only the last two years. Scaling it down, that means you're looking for a player of that era with a K/BB from 3.7:1 to 7.4:1. He also draws a walk in roughly 4.6% of his PA in a league who draws a walk in about 8.8% of PA, whereas the 1965 season saw a walk in about 8.2% of PAs, so probably not adjusting for.

League average isolated power in 1965 was about 0.126, and is now about 0.161. Buxton has a 0.299 isolated power over the last three years, or 0.356 over the last two, so scaling you're looking for a player from that era with an isolated power of between 0.234 to 0.278.

League averages are 0.238 and 0.246 respectively, so it's not worth doing an adjustment there. So using this method, you're looking for a player with a roughly 0.282 BA, slugging between 0.516 and 0.560, with a K/BB between 3.7:1 and 7.4:1, and a walk rate of about 4.6%.

Looking at 1965, the most comparable player is probably Mack Jones, who was 26 that season, played centerfield, and went on to have a pretty good remainder of his career, while struggling to stay on the field as much as he probably would have liked. Others who are kind of comparable at the plate that season would be Dick Stuart (32) except with less walks and a bit more power, Willie Stargell (25) except with less walks, or Al Smith (27) with more power.

One important note: Mack Jones' walk rate that year was a huge outlier, at about 5%, when he was over 10% for his career, and it was also by far his worst K/BB ratio. Buxton, on the other hand, with his low BB% and high K/BB over his last three years, is basically in line with his career numbers - about 5.9% BB rate and 4.9 K/BB - so this comparison would be better done over a multi-year period with the 60s, and that'll require someone with access to the Stathead search tool.
   19. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 23, 2021 at 09:53 PM (#6026028)
My understanding is that there’s more short-term variation in BABip and HR rate than K or BB rates. So if you see a guy who is a big outlier in all of them over a relatively small sample size, chances are higher that the BABip and HR rates will regress to the mean a bit.

Someone please correct me if my impression is off.
   20. baxter Posted: June 23, 2021 at 09:54 PM (#6026029)
I wanted to say Dave Nicholson b/c of the big strikeout year (1963) he had, 175. But, he walked 63 times. Also, had almost twice as many HR's as doubles. Odd to think of Buxton comparable to Stuart as a player b/c of the differences in the field, but interesting to compare as a hitter.
   21. RJ in TO Posted: June 23, 2021 at 10:02 PM (#6026034)
Another guy who kind of works from 1965 is Zoilo Versalles, who had a bit less power and a bit more average, but the sort of strikeout rate and K/BB ratio we're looking for, plus also speed that works well when compared to Buxton.

His remaining seasons weren't so good.
   22. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 23, 2021 at 10:08 PM (#6026035)

My understanding is that there’s more short-term variation in BABip and HR rate than K or BB rates.


my understanding as well. ANd it makes sense because a walk requires 4 data pts and K 3 data pts. Versus HR and hits is only one data pt. So its more variances for HRs and hits given the same sample size. So that much we agree on.

Zoilo is starting to look like a good candidate for our mythical BUxton, but Im still studying that.

Im gonna stay with a guy plus/minus 2 years of Buxton age 27. Im gonna give priority to SS and CF and also consider corner OF and 3b cause there is some athleticism there. No 1b, C or P probably no 2b unless they can play OF.

Im gonna consider more than one season for the historical player probably 3 seasons centered on 1965 or some year.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: June 23, 2021 at 10:20 PM (#6026038)
Buxton over the last 3 years (540 PA)

K% -- 23.9 which is pretty much average these days.
BB% -- 4.6 which is low
BABIP -- 316 ... so if we had to guess what he'd hit with a 320 BABIP, we'd go with something close to 282
ISO -- 299 ... now we're talking

Now 299 ISOs, even in a single season, are the sort of thing we rarely saw until recent times. Not unheard of but for the expansion era, it's just 148 qualified seasons so about 2.5 guys per year. But 7 guys did it in 2019 and 5 guys in 2017 although that's still way lower than 11 guys in 2000. For 61-92 (the modern era began in 93 arguably), it was done 33 times. Eric Davis, Lynn and Barry are the Buxton-like players who did it once in the pre-TTO era; Mays the only Buxton-like guy to do it multiple times.

The fewest walks in any such season was Juan Gone 1993 with 37. He was pretty much the only guy to do it multiple times without walking a decent amount ... although Larry Walker surprisingly turns up a couple of times but he didn't K much and played in Coors those years so something of a special case. The most extreme recent season is probably Khris Davis with 175K and 59 BB in 2018 ... that's not a promising career comp. The most Ks is a tie at 208 between Judge and Chris Davis but Judge walked a ton and Davis walked above league-average.

I can't calculate k/bb for all of these guys but I don't see anybody that beats K Davis at just under 3 -- the guys close are Kingman and Gonzalez. So Buxton at 5:1 would be unique. Of course there's a bit of a pushme-pullyou here in that if you can establish that you can regularly put up an ISO of, say, 280 or higher, pitchers are likely to start pitching around you more. Rather famously, Maris received 0 IBB in his 61-HR year ... which mainly means nobody was dumb enough to put somebody on intentionally with Mantle in the on-deck circle. Buxton's one IBB would tie him with Gallo and Brady Anderson.

The lowest OBPs are K Davis 326 on a 247 BA and Gallo 333 on a 209 BA. The most similar to Buxton's 282/322/581 are probably Buhner 1995 at 262/343/566 and Kingman 1979 288/343/613 ... or, as an excellent comp, Andruw's 2005 263/347/575 (his age 28 season). Alas Andruw is another un-promising career comp although he was very good again at age 29.

An obvious current Buxton comp is Javy Baez. Javy doesn't have a season to match this aggregated Buxton season but 2018 290/326/554 and 2019 281/316/531 and excellent SS defense is close enough. Javy's K-rate is much higher than Buxton's but their walk rates are the same and his career BABIP is 330. Unfortunately Ks have been eating Javy alive in 2020-21 so chances are Buxton is a substantially better hitter at the moment.

OK so if Buxton was 27 years old and lived in the mid 1960s who would he be?

That's easy:

Buxton: 6'2", 190 lbs
Stargell: 6'2", 188 lbs

:-)

That comp is better than your mental image of Stargell is suggesting to you at this very moment (but not necessarily good). At 25, in 1965, Stargell K'd 22% of the time. At 26, he hit 315/381/581 which easily beats Buxton on BA and OBP but Buxton makes up some ground on ISO. A few years later, Stargell led the league with 154 Ks, K'd at a modern rate generally and had a couple of seasons with an ISO over 300. His career BABIP was 314 and 309 through age 30. So the raw numbers and rate stats of Buxton over the last 3 years are reasonably close to the sort of season Stargell put up here and there. If you look at their raw rates through age 27, Stargell is basically Buxton plus 30 points of BA (and therefore OBP and a bit more SLG).
   24. BDC Posted: June 23, 2021 at 10:37 PM (#6026040)
I just watched Adolis Garcia hit his 20th home run against 11 walks and 78 strikeouts, so I kind of hope such ratios are the new sustainable :)
   25. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 23, 2021 at 10:58 PM (#6026046)
Did RJ run a query on that? I did this manually and Yeah, the closest seems to be Mack Jones, w/ 3:1 k/bb ratio ba .260 slug .490 for two seasons. Not extremely close but fairly close. And plays CF although not anywhere near the range of Buxton. I guess Zoilo is runner up.

I kept thinking Petrocelli, or Fregosi would fit but not really. Willie Horton and Vada Pinson made my final cut.

You can find a handful of guys with 3:1 K/bb ratios over 3 consecutive seasons even in the 60s. Bobby Knoop is worse than 3:1; so is Pedro GOmez. Dick Green, Max Alvis at 3:1. Don Demeter had 4:1 ratios, once early on and again centered on age 30.

Given the different K rates in the 60s, a 5:1 Ratio nowadays is certainly an aberration but I dont think it calls into question the numbers he's putting up.

Can we do this same exercise for say 1985?
   26. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 23, 2021 at 11:08 PM (#6026051)

For Inge/Dave: A pretty good article on when stats stabilize:

https://www.redlegnation.com/2016/04/22/when-do-stats-stabilize/
   27. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 23, 2021 at 11:52 PM (#6026058)
Thanks. That seems to bear out what I was saying.
   28. RJ in TO Posted: June 24, 2021 at 12:00 AM (#6026059)
Did RJ run a query on that?
It was also a manual check, of putting the numbers together, and then doing a sort based on strikeouts.

Can we do this same exercise for say 1985?

1985: K/BB of 1.6:1, BB% of 8.6%, ISO of 0.134, and BA of 0.257. So looking for someone with a BA of around 0.300, K/BB of between 3:1 and 6:1, BB% of about 4.6%, and ISO of between 0.250 and 0.296. I dunno. Perhaps Jesse Barfield with a ton less walks? Mike Marshall looks like a respectable all around fit with the bat, but lacks Buxton's speed. Juan Samuel feels like he should be a good fit, but he never had quite that much batting average or power and while he played a premium defensive position, he didn't play it well.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: June 24, 2021 at 12:52 AM (#6026067)
I just watched Adolis Garcia hit his 20th home run against 11 walks and 78 strikeouts, so I kind of hope such ratios are the new sustainable :)

If we make some sort of era adjustment for ISO, they are "sustainable." From ages 26-30, Tony Armas hit 252/287/481 ... which was a 111 OPS+ or +5 Rbat per year in those days. Gorman Thomas and Rob Deer walked much more but their BAs were so low their OBPs were still in the 320s. Juan Gonzalez could regularly hit over 300 but didn't walk (and didn't strike out a ton). Kingman of course. To the extent there's been a change in this type of player in recent times, it's that they can combine good speed/defense with power. It's always been true that a line of 250/300/450 would be plenty playable if you are a SS or a good 2B/3B/CF -- it's just that historically guys who could play SS or CF were skinny guys who couldn't dream of a 200+ ISO.

So, some CFs with good ISOs and not great OBPs in their primes: Dawson, Hunter, Gorman, Preston, Andruw. That's really about it and at least 3 of them were quite good defensively. Thomas and Andruw had pretty good BB rates so maybe drop them. Given the Twins connection, let's go with Hunters 270/324/473 from ages 24-30 as our #1 comp. Hunter aged great (as did Dawson ... Preston Wilson not so much).

It does seem to be what Rally highlighted -- crappy K/BB with good power is not that unusual; crappy K/BB and super power is new. But it's certainly possible that the 200 ISO of yesteryear is a 250 ISO now.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: June 24, 2021 at 01:07 AM (#6026069)
Final stathead run of the day ... expansion era, ages 24-30, at least 1500 PA, at least a 4:1 K/BB, expansion era ...

Starling Marte is in this group, barely. He is by far the OBP leader at 343, followed by Adam Jones at 318. Folks will find it fun to be reminded (I needed it) that Bo Jackson hit 249/307/477. They will probably be less excited by Jonathan Schoop at 267/308/466. Javy is here, Dante Bichette, Duvall, Grichuk, Armas. Good ol' Corey Patterson. It generates a list of 42 players and 9 are Cs (Sal Perez the best).

Javy has the highest SLG at 500 followed by Bo 477, Grichuk and Jones. Javy (233), Grichuk, Bo and Duvall are the ones with 220+ ISOs; Armas, Zunino, Arencibia and Schoop the others at 200+.

so some mix of Adam Jones and Bo Jackson.

   31. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 24, 2021 at 08:16 AM (#6026078)
Not a 1960s guy, but the obvious comp for me at the plate is early career Alfonso Soriano. Speed, power, limited plate discipline, seems like he ticks all the boxes except Soriano was very durable and a not a great fielder.

Soriano’s K rate and ISO were a bit lower but I think relative to his league they are probably comparable to Buxton’s. He had a .301 career BABip but it was a bit higher early in his career.

And of course, Soriano had naysayers early in his career who said he couldn’t succeed with his lack of plate discipline.

Early career Soriano with Gold Glove defense in CF would be a really valuable player.
   32. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: June 24, 2021 at 12:06 PM (#6026112)
I'll leave the math to others for a minute, but here's the intuitive reason to think that a high K/BB rate spells bad news for your offensive performance more broadly:

If you're K'ing a lot and not walking much it means that you're swinging at lots of pitches out of the strike zone. It's hard to reliably hit those well. So if you are hitting those well, it's probably not something that you're going to keep up. Maybe Buxton is wonderfully gifted at hitting out-of-the-zone pitches, some people are (Vlad Guerrero was - not a good comp since he didn't K much, but a good bad-ball hitter), but generally if you want to smack something it's got to be a pitch in or close to the zone.
   33. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 24, 2021 at 01:10 PM (#6026117)
What Ohtani is doing is unbelievable. It’s almost as impressive as being a star in two different sports, Maybe just as impressive.


Another excellent start by Ohtani yesterday. He really is amazing.
   34. RJ in TO Posted: June 24, 2021 at 01:30 PM (#6026122)
Maybe Buxton is wonderfully gifted at hitting out-of-the-zone pitches, some people are (Vlad Guerrero was - not a good comp since he didn't K much, but a good bad-ball hitter), but generally if you want to smack something it's got to be a pitch in or close to the zone.
There aren't many good bad-ball hitter comps to Buxton, because good bad-ball hitters don't swing and miss as much. As you note, Vlad didn't strike out much. Puckett also had a career high in K's of 99, and that was 723 PA, or only 13.6%, and 12.3% for his career, both of which were below average for his league. Yogi Berra's career high in strikeouts was 38, and struck out in less than 5% of PAs in his career. Ichiro, who kind of fits the bad-ball hitter thing as we can all remember at bats where he used that weird sort of chopping swing at a ball well above the strike zone and then beat out the resulting grounder to SS/3B, also struck out at a rate well below league average, in about 10% of his PAs in a league that was generally closer to 16%. And that all makes sense, as bad ball hitters who don't make regular contact really aren't likely to last in the majors. Basically, bad ball hitters without good contact skills are better described as bad hitters.
   35. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 24, 2021 at 06:36 PM (#6026184)
If he played during WW II he's Vince DiMaggio. Who didnt always show alot of power but did in 1940 and 1945. His career is 2:1 K/bb although there were seasons when he approached 3:1. He also played CF. His 1940 numbers seem fairly close to recent Buxton.
   36. RJ in TO Posted: June 24, 2021 at 07:48 PM (#6026197)
If he played during WW II he's Vince DiMaggio. Who didnt always show alot of power but did in 1940 and 1945. His career is 2:1 K/bb although there were seasons when he approached 3:1. He also played CF. His 1940 numbers seem fairly close to recent Buxton.
He's Vince Dimaggio, except with less walks. Vince still got a BB in about 10% of his career PA, which was better than the league average at the time (around 9%). So Vince Dimaggio, except with 30 points less of OBP.
   37. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 24, 2021 at 08:10 PM (#6026199)
yes something like that. Its so hard to find comparables in part because .slug just doesnt seem to scale in a linear fashion. YOu can cut 65 pts off his slug to account for the power outage of WW II baseball but its still hard to find guys slugging .500 let alone .515 in 1945. I guess there really isnt a large skew of hitters at the top, they seem to be more clustered. Vern Stephens might rate an honorable mention.
   38. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 25, 2021 at 01:44 PM (#6026315)
So if BUxton lived in the mid 1920s, he's....Bob Meusel.

Meusel's power not quite up there but his power was very comparable in his younger days say age 24. Obp and ba compare quite well. Plays CF. his K/bb ratio is around 2:1 but given that Ks in the mid 20s are less than 1/4th that of today he'd conceivably even worse than Buxton at this. Given modern day K rates, his ratio might be 8:1 if these stats were to track in a linear fashion. Honorable mention Bennnie Paschal another NYY OF, he's a little bit older around 30, his ba/power fluctuates but its comparable for 3 seasons centered on age 30. Backing up Ruth and anyone else in OF during his best years.
   39. bfan Posted: June 25, 2021 at 05:56 PM (#6026360)
Bill James said avoiding injuries is a skill and having them consistently is a trait. Buxton isn’t unlucky when he has an injury; his body, for all of its virtues, is not built to withstand the rigors of the game.
No disgrace, but you will get maybe 120 healthy games a year out of him, tops. If he is top performing in those 120 games, he is worth the 40 games you have to go to the bench for him.

   40. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: June 25, 2021 at 08:00 PM (#6026389)
This discussion about Buxton's fragility should have taken place during his last stint on the IL, because getting your hand broken by a fastball does not add to the narrative.
   41. sunday silence (again) Posted: June 25, 2021 at 09:21 PM (#6026411)
For the mid 70s I get a young George Foster, age 26-27, before the HR uptake. He's pretty comparable in all the offensive categories ba .305 and .slug .520 and played the outfield rather poorly as I recall. He actually played CF 35/37 games in those years, I didnt realize that. His k/bb ratio hovers under 2:1 but given that Ks have nearly doubled since then one could project that to nearly 4:1. Projecting this stuff linearly is still kind of dicey but that's how it goes. I kind of think of him as having a short peak but he hung on for quite a while OPS+ of 98 even at age 37

RUnner up: an aging Bill RObinson age 33-34, who also has similar numbers but terrible k/bb ratio. 4:1 in the 70s, Im sure it would have been worse if he played nowadays, there are a few outliers in the majors who have hit 8:1 or so over limited numbers so ok, I guess. Robinson mostly corner OF but sometimes corner infield and CF.
   42. bfan Posted: June 26, 2021 at 04:28 PM (#6026468)
#40. I guess, but Andrew Jones had an 11 year run where his low was 153 games, and Chipper Jones had I believe a 10 year run where he averaged 158 games ( obviously I was a Braves fan of that era). Maybe their bones were less brittle? Maybe they learned to shift their body so a meatier part was hit? It certainly looks like Andruw was hit a lot more than Buxton, and Chipper ducked more/ in a better fashion? There are a lot of HBP these days; shoot Acuna has about twice the career HBP as Buxton.
   43. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: June 26, 2021 at 06:01 PM (#6026474)
Buxton got hit on a part of his wrist that has no padding...it's just bone. For everyone. And I didn't see the HBP, but I've seen lots of guys get hit on the hand/wrist and most of the time there's no way to get out of the way of it.

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