Byron Buxton's big-league career is off to a very slow start at the plate, which shouldn't come as a big surprise considering he made the jump from Double-A Chattanooga to the Twins.
The 21-year-old is hitting just .120 through eight games. He has only 3 hits in 25 at-bats and he's struck out 9 times. But as long as he continues making an impact with his glove and on the bases, he doesn't appear to be in danger of being demoted.
“Depending on all the things that surround him, if we’re winning games and he’s helping us win games on the defensive side of the ball and running the bases and so forth, we can wait on the bat,” Twins General Manager Terry Ryan told Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune. “Obviously a lot of things take care of themselves when you win, and some of the mistakes that are made you don’t pay as much attention to. But we’re also anticipating him producing and contributing because he’s certainly capable.”
Buxton was a hitting machine in the minors, posting a batting average just under .300 while ripping 12 triples and stealing 20 bases while playing a tremendous center field.
Twins manager Paul Molitor has been encouraged with Buxton's approach at the plate and doesn't believe his confidence is dropping.
“Like any player who comes up here and wants to do well, there’s frustration,” Molitor said Sunday, according to the Pioneer Press. “I don’t think it’s carried over into confidence level. He thinks that any day he might go up there and get a couple hits.”
Buxton has a history of struggling immediately after being promoted to a new level of baseball. According to Baseball Outsiders, Buxton has a pattern of struggling for a week or two before taking off at the plate.
And for the record, according to Yahoo, the Twins are averaging just 2.5 runs per game over their last 15 games, only five of which they have won; so it's not like the rookie is the only Twin struggling to find hits.