Christopher Crawford

Baseball Daily Dose

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Dose: Lord Byron Walks Off

Friday, September 15, 2017


Baseball is a difficult game. Sometimes, even the most talented players will struggle when starting. Just take a look at Mike Trout’s first stint in the majors, or Jake Arrieta’s numbers before his trade to the Cubs. On occasion, however, there are top prospects that just don’t ever figure it out.

Byron Buxton does not appear to be one of those prospects.

Buxton went 2-for-4 on Thursday, and his second hit was a big one; a walkoff homer in the bottom of the 10th that gave the Twins a 3-2 victory over the Blue Jays. It gives Minnesota a 77-69 record, and extends their lead for the second wild card in the American League.

The difference in Buxton’s first and second half is night and day.  On July 14, Buxton had a batting line of .218/.292/.311. Since then, he’s hit .308/.348/.589 with nine homers and nine steals without being caught. What’s been the difference? Part of it is Buxton has a .364 BABIP in that time frame, but Buxton also has cut down the strikeouts, and had made more consistent hard contact to all parts of the field. When you add in his other-worldly defense and the fact he’s still only 23 years old, you get why so many believe that Buxton is going to be a star.

Yes, Buxton had a similar resurgence last year, so we do need to see him put it all together for a full 162. Based on what we’ve seen over the past two months, it’s hard to imagine he won’t.

 

Editor’s Note: Win a FREE trip to the World Series plus cash prizes!

 

 

Martinez continues historic run

When the Diamondbacks acquired J.D. Martinez on July 18 for three minor-leaguers, they knew they were getting one of the best outfield bats on the market, but they couldn’t have possibly known he’d be this good. Martinez homered again for Arizona on Thursday in a 7-0 win, giving him 23 with the Diamondbacks and 37 on the season.

We’ve seen a lot of questionable performances from players acquired at or near the deadline, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one than Martinez has given Arizona. He’s now hitting .291/.363/.736. That’s even better than the .287/.337/.604 line that Yoenis Cespedes posted for the Mets back in 2015, or the 23 homers Carlos Beltran gave the Astros when he came over from Kansas City in 2004.

Martinez was going to get a massive contract before this run, but the 2018 free agent might get one of the biggest contracts in baseball, especially if this continues in the postseason.

 

Cruz hits missiles on Thursday

When you pick up four hits in a game and the softest one is a homer, you know things are going pretty well. That’s what Nelson Cruz did on Thursday.

Cruz went 4-for-4 on Thursday in the Mariners’ 10-4 drubbing of the Rangers, including his 33rd homer of the year. His first three hits all went over 110 miles per hour according to Statcast; the first player in history to do so. The fourth hit -- his aforementioned homer -- “only” went 97 miles per hour on an opposite-field bomb off of A.J. Griffin in the seventh.

When Cruz signed his 4-year, $56 million contract with Seattle, it was ridiculed by some, as it was assumed that he wouldn’t be able to provide defensive value and his bat would deteriorate. He can no longer play in the field, so the concerns were half true, but his offense has possibly gotten better. He’s still one of -- if not the -- best designated hitters in all of baseball, and there’s no reason to think he’ll slow down in 2018.

 

National League Quick Hits: Mets SS Amed Rosario was removed from an 11-5 loss to Chicago on Thursday with a hip flexor. He’s considered day-to-day. … Braves RHP Mike Foltynewicz was forced to leave his start against the Nationals on Thursday with a cut on the tip of his right index finger. … Rockies SS Trevor Story left Thursday’s game early with a cramp in his right hamstring. … Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (hamstring) threw off of a mound on Thursday, and could be cleared to throw a simulated game if there are no setbacks on Friday. … The Giants claimed former Minnesota SS prospect Engelb Vielma on waivers. Vielma is considered one of the best defensive shortstop prospect, but hit just .229 in stops at Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Rochester.

American League Quick Hits: Royals C Salvador Perez was removed from Thursday’s game after tweaking his intercostal area. Manager Ned Yost indicated Perez was unlikely to play on Friday. … Indians 2B Jose Ramirez went 4-for-4 with two doubles in Cleveland’s 2-1 extra-innings win over Kansas City. It gives Ramirez 50 doubles on the season, the first hitter to have that total since Matt Carpenter hit 55 in 2013. … Astros manager AJ Hinch said that RHP Lance McCullers Jr. will throw a bullpen session this weekend after being scratched from his start on Wednesday. … Astros OF Jake Marisnick will be out 6-8 weeks after fracturing his right thumb on Wednesday. … Mariners RHP Andrew Moore will start on Sunday, taking the rotation place of struggling LHP Ariel Miranda.



Christopher Crawford is a prospect writer for Rotoworld. He's scouted and covered prospects since 2009 and resides in Coronado, Calif. Follow him on Twitter @Crawford_MILB.
Email :Christopher Crawford



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