Minor League Player of the Year: Byron Buxton

Seriously, this guy is amazing.

As you likely hear, Minnesota Twins prospect Byron Buxton was recently named Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year. We've covered Buxton a lot over the past few months, but I'd like to take a closer look at the player that is drawing a lot of attention to the Twins' farm system again.


via cdn.baseballamerica.com

Name: Byron Keiron Buxton
DOB: 12/18/1993
Hometown: Baxley, Georgia
High School: Appling County High School
Position: Outfield
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 189 lbs.
2013 Triple Slash (Ft. Myers & Cedar Rapids): .334/.424/..520

Byron Buxton was the Twins' first round draft pick in the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft, and when he started the 2013 season, he was ranked the #10 prospect by Baseball America, and by the end of the season, earned top honors as #1 ranked prospect. Buxton's been compared to Mike Trout at the same age, with an opposing minor league manager saying that Buxton "has a better arm. He is a better defender than Trout, with better range and jumps..." That's not light praise, considering the phenomenon that Mike Trout turned out to be. The Twins saw enough talent in Buxton to give him a $6 million signing bonus last year, which was the largest bonus that was given out in that draft.

Byron Buxton will be going to play in the Arizona Fall League this year, whose games start up in October. Ideally, the extra play time will continue to increase Buxton's skill levels, and we'll be able to see even more highlights next season.

Here's video from a game in June, when the Kernels were playing Wisconsin (they ended up winning the game). Buxton is at the plate, and he hits a 2-run triple to left-center field. Watch his swing, how powerful he can hit, and how fast he runs. All so impressive.

And probably my favorite Buxton video of the year--a walk-off grand slam from a game in May against Burlington. If you don't get just a little excited for the potential watching this, I am not sure I can help you anymore.

While Buxton is certainly fun to watch at the plate, his talents don't stop there. In a game in June against the Kane County Cougars, Buxton made an amazing diving catch in the outfield. See for yourself.

Remember us talking about that speed? Wow. While there's no video (that I could locate, at least), there was a game last month when Buxton stole second base, and when the cutoff was missed at 2B, he scored at home when the ball went into the outfield. Ridiculous. Here's a video of him stealing 2B (not the same instance; this is from a game in May), and you can get a good idea of that speed showing itself here.

Byron Buxton is hopefully going to be a very fun player to watch in Twins uniform for many years to come, but until he makes it up to the big club, make sure to keep an eye on his minor league performances. He's going to be a big deal with this organization--you don't get compared to Mike Trout for no reason.

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