It will be a beautiful day at Oakland Coliseum this afternoon. It should be sunny and in the 70s with low winds out to center field. All 17 fans that attend the game are in for a treat. Daulton Jefferies will take the mound for the A’s against one of the MLB’s most dangerous leadoff hitters.
Byron Buxton is back at the top of the lineup after enjoying a day off yesterday. Byron was a massive prospect for many years but has had terrible luck staying healthy as he has only played 100+ games once in his MLB career. We are hoping he can stay on the field this year because we may be looking at one of baseball’s best hitters. He is third in the league in home runs despite having far less at bats than everyone else at the top of the list. He is 5th in the league in OPS, and his advanced analytics support the traditional stats. He is in the 99th percentile in average exit velocity, 86th percentile in hard hit percentage, 99th percentile in barrell percentage. Simply put, he dismantles the baseball.
Buxton has been elite vs right handed pitching. He has 10 extra base hits in 61 at bats vs righties, and has a .361 ISO. Jefferies has also allowed right handed hitters to hit .303 vs him with 11 extra base hits in 76 at bats.
With all of that said, I have not gotten to my favorite part. Buxton is a day game killer. Buxton is 14/47 with 2 doubles, 8 home runs, and 40 total bases (13 games). His ISO is an unfathomable .553 in afternoon games. With him occupying the lead off spot we could see as many as 5 at bats from him, so I love him to have a big day at the plate vs these A’s pitchers.