When you start a season as poorly as the Twins have — more than one-third of the way through the season they were on pace for fewer than 50 wins — the opportunities for fans to be optimistic tend to be relative.

At the plate, there has been Eduardo Nunez as a constant with a few other hot streaks mixed in from Joe Mauer, Miguel Sano and Byung Ho Park. On the mound, the success stories have been more scarce.

If you're grasping for something new to hold on to, this has emerged: Byron Buxton looks like a completely different hitter in his latest stint with the Twins. The statistics are very good (in a limited sample), but the approach is what really sticks out.

A mixture of small ball and extra-base power to all fields is a more-than-welcome sign.

It's a reason to keep watching in a season with far too few of them.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. mrand@startribune.com