The offensive and defensive star not only initiated a triple play with his amazing glove, but keeps getting records with his ability to hit home runs and avoid a certain play that has become particularly annoying for hitters: grounding into double plays.
“Byron Buxton’s 49 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),” MLB statistician Sarah Langs, with the help of Elias Sports Bureau, said via Twitter.
Byron Buxton's 49 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) July 5, 2022
The last time Buxton grounded into a double play was in 2020.
It has been well-established by now that hitters maximize contact when they hit the ball in the air: groundballs are extremely advantageous for fielders and, in the end, for pitchers.
Hitting The Ball In The Air
Buxton boasts a healthy 49.7 percent fly ball rate, which coupled with his 18.2 percent line-drive rate leaves his groundball rate at a very nice and low 32.1 percent.
In other words, Buxton rarely hits the ball on the ground: his swing is geared for power because it has natural loft, and with his quick wrists and hips, earns him lots of home runs.
When he hits the ball into the ground, he is fast enough to beat most close plays at first base, lowering the chances of hitting into double plays.
With 22 home runs so far, he has a shot at his first 40-homer season if he keeps his health all year long.
Perhaps 35 is more manageable, and that would be a first, too.
All things considered, Buxton is the heart and soul of the Twins.
As long as he is in one piece, they will have a chance.