Byron Buxton Headlines An Otherworldly MLB Trio

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

 

Few players in MLB have the kind of physical gifts that Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton boasts.

He is kind of a special player because of that: yes, he is injury-prone, but when he is healthy, the entire world marvels at his natural, God-given talent to play ball.

Buxton can hit the ball extremely hard, has legendary speed, and is among the best fielders in his position, center field.

He is truly a difference-maker.

According to MLB stats guru Sarah Langs, he is part of an elite group of players with a unique skillset: power and speed.

“Qualified players who are in the 90th percentile or higher in both barrel rate & sprint speed this season: Byron Buxton; Jazz Chisholm Jr.; Mike Trout,” she tweeted.

That’s quite an impressive, short list.

 

Explaining Barrels

To be barreled, according to MLB.com, “a batted ball requires an exit velocity of at least 98 mph. At that speed, balls struck with a launch angle between 26-30 degrees always garner Barreled classification. For every mph over 98, the range of launch angles expands.”

When the batted ball reaches 116 mph, it will always be considered a barrel when the launch angle is between eight and 50 degrees.

Barrel rate is nothing more than barrels per batted ball event.

Buxton has a 17.9 barrel rate, which means 17.9 percent of his batted balls are barrels.

That’s elite.

Barreling the ball is always good for a hitter because these type of batted balls resulted in a .772 batting average and a 2.591 slugging percentage last year.

On top of Buxton’s enormous power, he is also in the 93rd percentile in sprint speed.

He is quite the athlete, and a magnificent baseball player.