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Byron Buxton -- OF – Minnesota Twins
Height: 6'2" Weight: 190 lbs. -- Hits: Right Throws: Right
2013 Stats (Single-A) – .334/.424/.520, 12 HR, 77 RBI, 109 Runs, 55 Steals
There are players that come along every year. There are players that come along every couple of years. Then there are players that only come around every decade or so and that may be the right way to encapsulate Byron Buxton. Just turning 20 years old, Buxton is already among the most polished players in the minor leagues. Considering he hails from a very rural area in Georgia that says a lot about his raw ability. Buxton was a pitcher in High School but has far too good of tools to play once every fifth day. His speed rivals that of fellow prospect Billy Hamilton and his home-to-first time is on par with what Hamilton’s is from the left side. Buxton is a right handed hitter. Defensively he is a natural centerfielder with the instincts of a young Willie Mays. That is no joke either; he is that good reading the ball and possesses a rifle of an arm as well. Buxton is a patient hitter at the plate and isn’t afraid of taking a walk. He has a natural ability to lure the pitcher into giving him what he wants then capitalizing on it. He hits to all fields and doesn’t try and over swing on hangers. Buxton doesn’t profile as a big power hitter but he has already surprised coaches with his ability to drive the ball to all fields. He has a big frame and could use some more upper body mass to help fight through injuries. If he continues to put in the work and remains patient at the plate he can rise quickly up the Twins farm system.
Buxton will attend Spring Training with the big league club in Fort Myers, Florida. He doesn’t have a real chance at making the big league club this year but the organization wants to see how he reacts to some degree of failure and how he carries himself around the veterans. It isn’t impossible for him to get a call to Minnesota at some point during the season but unless the Twins are competing for a playoff spot that is highly unlikely. In a perfect world the Twins would like both Buxton and Miguel Sano to spend one more season in the minor leagues and then be in the opening day lineup in 2015. Buxton signed a $6 million contract when he was the second overall pick in 2012 so there are plenty of reasons to begin his tenure in the majors as soon as he is ready. In Fantasy leagues Buxton is good enough to warrant a mid to late round selection in new keeper and dynasty league formats. He will start the season at AA New Britain where he will try and continue his assault on minor league pitching staffs.
Carlos Beltran – There hasn’t been a better power/speed/defense prospect to come along in quite awhile.
Willie McGee – If his power never develops Buxton can still be a very good player for a long time in the Willie McGee mold.
Buxton has an average draft position of 474.18 according to the National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC).
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