Byron Buxton wasn’t only the best player in the American League in the month of April.
He just put together one of the most impressive months in recent baseball history.
In 18 games (17 starts) in April, Buxton racked up 29 hits in 68 at-bats, including eight doubles and a league-high eight home runs. He also logged 14 RBI, three stolen bases and three walks to go along with a .426/.466/.897 slash line.
According to Stathead, Buxton was the first player with a batting average over .420 and a slugging percentage greater than .890 in any calendar month since Atlanta’s Hall of Fame slugger Chipper Jones in July 2006.
Jones batted .500 (31-for-62) that month with seven doubles, seven home runs and 20 RBI, adding up to a slugging percentage of .984.
Only three other players have accomplished a .420+ BA and .890+ SLG in a single month since the turn of the century.
Barry Bonds did it twice – August 2002 and March/April 2004 -- and was named the National League MVP following both of those campaigns. Richard Hidalgo, who was never named to an All-Star team, went on a tear in September 2000 and logged a .477/.532/.953 slash line in 29 games. And Todd Helton accomplished the feat in May 2000 at the age of 23, stringing together a .512/.588/.1.000 slash line with 11 home runs in 23 contests.
Only 10 players in total have done it since 1970.
|Byron Buxton||April 2021||73||.426||.466||.897|
|Chipper Jones||July 2006||73||.500||.575||.984|
|Barry Bonds||April 2004||92||.472||.696||1.132|
|Barry Bonds||Aug. 2002||116||.447||.621||.961|
|Richard Hidalgo||Sept. 2000||124||.477||.532||.953|
|Todd Helton||May 2000||102||.512||.588||1.000|
|Larry Walker||April 1997||106||.456||.538||.911|
|Frank Thomas||May 1994||118||.452||.593||.988|
|George Brett||April 1983||72||.460||.528||.921|
|Ron Cey||April 1977||94||.425||.543||.890|
|Bob Bailey||July 1970||72||.460||.514||1.079|
Buxton’s month of April was even more ridiculous when it’s stacked up in Twins history.
“Buck” registered the highest batting average, slugging percentage and OPS for any Twins player in March/April (minimum 60 plate appearances). His 1.363 OPS tops Minnesota annals for any single month, besting Joe Mauer’s 1.338 OPS in May 2009.
Mauer missed the first month of the 2009 campaign with a back injury, but he returned May 1 and never stopped rolling, as he batted .365 on the season and was named the AL MVP.
Buxton is the first Minnesota player to win the monthly award since Delmon Young in July 2010. Young, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 draft, batted .434/.455/.736 that month with 12 doubles, six homers and 30 RBI.
The crazy thing is, we haven’t even mentioned Buxton’s defense.
Yep, we might have just witnessed the best month of any Twins player in franchise history.