The Twins were so bad last year that Byron Buxton's awesome September is hard to remember.
Buxton hit .277 with 7 homers, 5 doubles, 2 triples and 18 RBI last September, fueling the hype that 2017 might finally be the breakthrough year for the former No. 2 overall pick.
"He really turned a meaningful corner last year," Twins General Manager Thad Levine said in an interview with SiriusXM Fantasy Baseball.
"We saw what he can do down the stretch last year. It was a hell of a September," Levine added. "He's looking to build off of that and springboard forward."
In an interview with KARE 11's Eric Perkins, Buxton credited a conversation with Torii Hunter before he was called up last September with easing his mind and making him more comfortable at the plate.
Levine believes Buxton's demotion to the minors last season was a "huge wakeup call for him." The key to Buxton's September turnaround: Trusting himself.
"At that juncture, he started to own his career a little bit more," Levine explained. "You want a player to be coachable, you want him to be adaptable but you also want him to have a strong foundation to hit. The best hitters in the game, when they're slumping, they're able to go back to the core aspects of their offensive approach that allows them to be successful. I think his was a little bit too much in flux because he was trying to please too many people."
"I think that's going to serve him extremely well, not only as a power and speed guy, but also a guy who can be a high on-base, high batting average guy in the big leagues."
Listen to the full Buxton segment here.