When someone says “therefore” in real-life conversation, you know they’re full of shit. Byron Buxton‘s 2022 projections are a big, giant “therefore.” People are expecting him to “therefore” for six months straight. He will need to beat the longest previous “therefore,” which was Luke Voit in 2020. The longest “therefore” in history is O.J. Simpson from birth until June of 1994. A “therefore”record that might not ever be broken. Some say that OJ’s “therefore” is the Cal Ripken consecutive game streak of therefores. A “therefore” to end all therefores. Therefores happen, don’t get me wrong. I therefore’d once in conversation. Was out to dinner with Cougs, and a couple we were with was talking about how their sister was doing an upcoming Ted Talk — an actual Ted Talk, not my dog, Ted, talking, which would actually be the best Ted Talk ever — and this friend’s sister was about to do a Ted Talk about ants, and I said, “Don’t tell me anymore. Your sister is giving the Ted Talk? Therefore, I will be watching.” And, boy, was I lying my ass off! Like I’m watching a Ted Talk, let alone one about ants! See, “therefore” is the giveaway. Next time you’re hanging with your friends say “therefore” and those friends, if they’re real friends, will no longer be friends with you, because you will be lying to them. Friends keep it real. They will stop being friends with some friends like ones using “therefore” in conversation. So, last year, Byron Buxton’s statline was 50/19/32/.306/9 in 235 ABs, and his projections are saying therefore/therefore/therefore/therefore/therefore. Therefore, please just stop the lies. So, what can we expect from Byron Buxton for 2022 fantasy baseball and what makes him overrated?
So, I was in a draft the other day and Byron Buxton went in the third round and I knew at that point, I had to write this post. Hey, I’m all for prorating. Mr. and Mrs. Prorater come over to our house all the time for dinner. They always bring something too. Last time, rather than one cheesecake, they brought a tub of cream cheese and a box of graham crackers, saying we could get two-point-six cheesecakes out of their supplies. Great people those Proraters. Even they think Byron Buxton’s projections are absurd.
He’s going to be 28 years old, and his hitter projections are 28/14/.266 in 475 ABs. That’s our projections, and they’re conservative compared to most site’s projections. Most have him down for 33/20/.275 in 520-ish ABs. First off, and this is kinda gonna be first off, second off and third off, and almost 4th off, his high for at-bats in a season is 462. That was in 2017, when he played 140 games. Sure, throw out 2020, even though he wasn’t healthy for that year either, but he’s been in the league for seven years and hasn’t ever had a full season. Predicting injuries are a tough thing, and usually fraught with errors. Just because someone was injured before does not mean they will be injured again. Byron Buxton? He’s never been healthy! Like, literally never.
If Byron Buxton does get a full season, his projections are not Adalberto Mondesi either. If the latter sexpot gets a 150-game season, the projections go bingo-bango off-the-charts and give Mondesi a 20/70 season, saying, “This is the greatest season ever.” Byron Buxton’s projections of 33/20/.275 are solid, don’t get me wrong. Or even 28/14/.266 as Rudy’s projections say, but they aren’t pie-in-the-sky hopes and/or dreams, even if you concede 150 games. Also, are these even the most likely scenario projections? I bet the next paragraph has something to say about that!
So, Byron Buxton’s swing got flatter last year. Better for average; his xBA was .300. Yet, his fly balls were down — 38.4%, but that’s not in the sewer with Christian Yelich. Buxton can get a 20+ HR/FB% and reach the seats 20+ times, but 30+times? He would need 154 fly balls to edge above 30 homers with a 20% HR/FB. His high is 113 fly balls. His HR/FB% in his career is 15.4%. So you have to throw out his previous high in fly balls by a lot, throw out his career HR/FB% by a lot and swing changes and yadda and–okay! Maybe he can exceed all expectations, but we are giving Byron Buxton the benefit of the doubt in literally every category. Byron Buxton’s career high in power was 19 homers. Eddie Rosario hit 32 homers in a season; he has a career average of .275, and stole 11 bags last year. Rosario has also recorded more at-bats every single season since they both were promoted in 2015. Oh, and Rosario is being drafted 120 picks later.
My fear is Byron Buxton won’t stay healthy. Yes, first through almost fourth-most. Even if Buxton stays healthy, I don’t see how we can just project him for numbers way beyond anything he’s ever done, and I’m the first person to project players way beyond anything they’ve ever done! That’s my trademark! I’m always looking beyond the numbers, but he’s never even hit 20 homers in a year and we’re projecting him for 33? He’s hitting .248 in 1615 career at-bats and now we’re expecting .275? This guy isn’t some 22-year-old who’s just coming into his own. He’s a 28-year-old and we know what to expect. Therefore, I stamp him a schmohawk! Hey, wait a minute…