Buxton hits top speed to make diving grab

Buxton hits top speed to make diving grab

MINNEAPOLIS -- With Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias at the plate with a runner on and nobody out in the seventh, the Twins shaded center fielder Byron Buxton to right-center.

But Iglesias lifted a shallow fly ball into left-center, and Twins manager Paul Molitor assumed it was going to drop in for a hit. But Buxton raced in to make a diving catch to rob Iglesias in Minnesota's eventual 8-1 loss on Tuesday at Target Field.

Buxton covered some serious ground, as he ran 80 feet to make the grab with a route efficiency of 96 percent, per Statcast™. Buxton's first step took only 0.33 seconds and he reached a maximum speed of 22.1 mph, which Statcast™ had as Buxton's fastest speed recorded as a defender this season.

"He had a long way to go," Molitor said. "I didn't think he had much of a chance off the bat. There's not a lot of guys who can close out on balls like that. He laid out and picked it right off the ground. It was quite a play with how far he went and how he was able to close out on it the way he did."

It was simply another amazing grab for Buxton, who has turned in his share of highlight-reel plays this season. Buxton said the key to this one was getting a read on the way the ball came off Iglesias' bat.

"I got a pretty good jump on that ball," Buxton said. "I saw it off the bat pretty well. Just kind of reacted."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.