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Byron Buxton leaves game early for Twins

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 17: Minnesota Twins Center field Byron Buxton (25) heads to 1st on a walk during the 2nd game of a MLB split-doubleheader between the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians on June 17, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, MN.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire)
Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire

Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton left Friday night’s game against the Houston Astros following a double he hit in the top of the sixth inning. Defensively, he was replaced by Eddie Rosario who went to left field, with Zach Granite sliding over to center.

Following his 1-for-2 performance with a walk and a run scored, Buxton is batting .218 with a .292 on-base percentage. His double on Friday was just his 13th extra-base hit of the season in his 84th game of the year. He has as many RBIs (16) as he does stolen bases.

But as his offensive numbers indicate, he is not wholly in the lineup for his bat. His 1.9 dWAR entering play on Friday leads all of baseball, ahead of Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. Buxton is yet to earn a Gold Glove, mainly because he is yet to play a full season, but also due to the wizardry of Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier. With Kiermaier sidelined due to a hip injury and Buxton entrenched in center despite his offensive deficiencies, he may be batting ninth with an OPS hovering around .600, but he could still have hardware coming his way.

Minnesota selected Buxton with the second overall pick in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of Baxley, Ga. He was the consensus No. 1 overall prospect in baseball before the 2014 season and was still ranked No. 1 by both MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus coming into 2015.

Over five seasons in the minors, Buxton is a .302 hitter. In parts of three years with Minnesota, he is a .218 hitter coming into Friday.

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