Byron Buxton is carrying the Minnesota Twins.
Of course, if you have been following MLB for a while, this isn’t really surprising: he is their best player and one of the league’s true two-way stars.
With incredible offensive upside and amazing skills in center field, Buxton has accumulated 2.1 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) so far in 2022, and he missed a bunch of games with a knee ailment this year.
So far, Buxton is slashing .231/.311/.580 with 17 home runs, 35 runs scored, and 30 RBI.
However, the most amazing part of Buxton’s statistical profile may be his ability to avoid double plays.
Double plays are rally-killers and a pitcher’s best friend, so hitters should really do their best to avoid hitting the ball into the ground with runners on base.
A Fly Ball Hitter With Elite Sprint Speed Does His Best To Avoid Double Plays
Here is a fascinating stat about Buxton and double plays:
“Byron Buxton’s 44 home runs since his last grounded into double play are the most HR between GDP since double plays were officially tracked for batters in both leagues (1940) h/t @EliasSports. @AaronGleeman had the great observation this AM!” MLB statistician Sarah Langs tweeted.
Byron Buxton’s 44 home runs since his last grounded into double play are the most HR between GDP since double plays were officially tracked for batters in both leagues (1940)
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) June 13, 2022
The last time Buxton grounded into a double play was in 2020, during the pandemic season.
He avoided that play in both 2021 and 2022 (so far).
Buxton is a fly ball hitter (just 32.8% of ground balls against 52.9% of fly balls) with incredible sprint speed: that’s why he avoids double plays for the most part.
He seldom hits the ball in the ground, and when he does, he has the speed to beat most throws.
It’s quite a stat: 44 home runs since his last double play grounder is nothing short of amazing.