MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The Minnesota Twins are in their first full week of Spring Training at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla., and there might not be a more excited player than Byron Buxton.
The star center fielder has had a career marred by injuries, playing more than 100 games just once in his eight seasons with the Twins. That came in 2017, when he played 140 games.
In 2022, he played 92 games for just the second time in his career. He had 51 starts in the outfield, made 34 starts as a designated hitter and the other appearances came in pinch hitting and defensive substitution situations. He had 28 home runs and 51 RBI last season while battling a knee issue most of the year. He was hitting .306 and on pace for an All-Star season before another injury.
On Tuesday, Fox 9 Sports Director Jim Rich caught up with Buxton to talk about what else – how he plays the outfield.
"I used to come in just ninja turtle style. My main focus at the time was never taking my eyes off the ball. As long as I kept my eyes on the ball, I knew I was about to get hit. If you’re going to take a hit, at least catch the ball," Buxton said.
Buxton signed a seven-year, $100 million contract before the 2022 season to stay with the Twins, a deal that worked for both sides as he gets paid, but is also based on staying healthy and on the field.
Watch the video for the full segment with Buxton from Spring Training.