Byron Buxton has transformed himself this offseason by adding 21 pounds of muscle, according to the Twins.
A 21-pound boost would put Buxton at around 210 pounds considering he was listed at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds last season. The 25-year-old former No. 2 overall draft pick hopes the added bulk will help him stay healthy in 2019.
"If I want to play the way that I want to play and run into walls, I've got to have a little bit more cushion," Buxton said at TwinsFest over the weekend.
One of Buxton's agents told The Athletic that Buxton has spent five hours a day in the weight room and another 90 minutes a day working on his swing in a batting cage.
Even better for Buxton and the Twins is that his agent says the added weight hasn't affected his speed, but it has increased his power.
In addition to adding muscle, Buxton told reporters that he used his anger over the Twins dungeoning him in the minors last September to renew his focus.
"People tell you to take that frustration as fuel, and that's something that I did, as well, to help me do what I want to do," Buxton said, via the Twins.
His anger was a result of the Twins electing to shut him down in September rather than call him up to rejoin the team. The decision was made despite Buxton hitting .339 with seven doubles and a homer between Aug. 14-31 at Triple-A Rochester.
Reality is that Minnesota shut him down in order to gain an extra year of team control on his contract, thus restricting him from becoming a free agent until 2023.
“Whatever’s motivating him to start this season, I hope that quickly transfers to a positive motivation associated with what this team can accomplish, especially if he’s clicking on all cylinders,” Twins GM Thad Levine said, via Fox Sports.
“He’s had a very positive outlook on this offseason. He’s worked tirelessly both in the cage and in the weight room, so I think he’s going to be ready to unleash fury on the American League this year.”
Buxton was primed to unleash fury last season after hitting .300 with 11 homers, 35 RBI and 13 stolen bases after the All-Star break in 2017, but a slow start coupled with migraines and injuries limited him to just 28 games with the Twins.