Power surge nets Buxton AL POW honors

Power surge nets Buxton AL POW honors

In the midst of a second-half surge, perhaps finally scratching the surface to his remarkable athletic potential, Byron Buxton was named the American League Player of the Week for Aug. 21-27 on Monday.

Buxton belted three homers and drove in a career-high five runs in Sunday's 7-2 win in Toronto, helping the Twins keep a 1 1/2-game lead in the race for the second AL Wild Card spot. For the week, he posted a .333/.343/.818 slash line with 11 RBIs and an AL-high five homers -- he had eight on the season entering the week -- prominently showcasing the bat speed that scouts had raved about when he was the game's No. 1 overall prospect, per MLBPipeline.com.

Must C: Buxton's three homers

This is the first league-wide award Buxton has received since breaking into the Majors in 2015.

The club's patience with the 2012 No. 2 overall pick seems to be paying off. Mired below the Mendoza Line as recently as July 3, Buxton has been one of the biggest breakouts of the second half, ranking near the top of most offensive leaderboards. Since the break, he's slugging .657 (second highest in the AL), hitting .333 (tied for sixth) and has converted on all eight stolen-base attempts.

From a Statcast™ perspective, Buxton has cut his swing-and-miss rate from 31.9 percent to 27.9 percent, and he's making quality contact on 41 percent of his total batted balls, up from 34.1 percent. On the year, Buxton is pacing the Majors with 24 conversions on four-star catches and higher, with a sprint speed of 30.2 feet per second, putting him on a short list for Gold Glove consideration.

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.