Byron Buxton’s speed is a game-changing tool. It’s one of many reasons why Buxton was the second overall pick in the 2012 draft and spent close to three seasons as baseball’s No. 1 ranked prospect.
The problem is, since coming to the big leagues, Buxton’s speed has been stifled by close to three years worth of struggles at the plate. The only place we’ve consistently seen his speed make a difference is on defense, but that changed for one night at least as Buxton used his wheels to record a near cycle in the Twins 10-3 win against the Diamondbacks.
Among Buxton’s hits was a home run. But this wasn’t just any home run. It was an inside-the-park home run with some Buxton sizzle added to it.
According to Statcast, Buxton went home-to-home in 13.85 seconds, which is the fastest home run trot or sprint they’ve clocked since debuting their metric system in 2015. Yet he still needed to make a pretty nifty slide to avoid the tag of Diamondbacks’ catcher Chris Iannetta.
The previous Statcast record holder? That was also Buxton when he rounded the bases in 14.05 seconds against the White Sox on the final day of the 2016 season.
Adam Rosales still holds the record for the fastest non-inside-the-park home run trot at 15.90 seconds. He set that earlier this season while playing for the Oakland A’s. He’s now with the Arizona Diamondbacks, meaning he was in the house to witness Buxton’s blazing sprint.
He also nearly witnessed a cycle. Buxton sandwiched his home run between a triple and a double, leaving him a single short in his final at-bat. He fell just short though when Arizona second baseman Daniel Descalso snagged his line drive.
Despite missing history, this had to be considered one of the Twins best offensive performances of the entire season. That goes for the entire team, as they collectively smashed five home runs in the win. But Buxton is the guy they need to take the next step, and the faster that happens the better.
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