Byron Buxton: 5-Tool Prodigy Will Become Face of the Franchise for Twins
June 4, 2012, will go down as a tremendous day in the history of the Minnesota Twins' franchise.
Sure, their No. 2 overall selection Byron Buxton from Appling County, Georgia, in the 2012 MLB draft won’t be ready to contribute for a few years, but there’s no question he has the greatest upside in the entire draft.
The phrase you hear when talking about the 2012 Gatorade Georgia Player of the Year is “five-tool player.”
The 18-year-old has incredible speed to cover plenty of ground in the spacious Target Field. This speed will also come in handy on the basepaths, where 30 to 40 steals per season is not out of the question.
With a terrific arm that has been clocked at 99 mph (he pitched some in high school), Buxton will be a Gold Glove candidate down the line.
Offensively, he may not have hit for a ton of power in high school, but he did finish second in the Under Armour All-American home run derby of sorts at Wrigley Field. The potential is there, but when you hit over .500 in high school it’s easy to understand why he decided to stick with spraying the ball to the gaps all over the field.
He has incredibly fast hands and the sort of plate discipline rarely seen in a high school player. Buxton has a sound approach at the plate and it will only get better as he works his way through the Twins' farm system.
His high school team has won a state championship; he has a very strong family background and seems to have a strong head on his shoulders. When his old coach Jeremy Smith spoke with Max Preps, he focused on his desire to keep getting better:
When Will Buxton Debut?
His work ethic is unbelievable. We have an indoor batting cage and he'll go up there late at night and hit for hours. He's the first one to arrive to practice and the last one to leave. He is very, very dedicated.
He is the complete package, and there is little doubt he’ll be a cornerstone of the Twins' franchise in due time. Names such as Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Eric Davis and Bo Jackson have all been thrown out when attempting to find Buxton’s major league equivalent.
This is the sort of ceiling we are talking about.
Props to the Twins for having the guts to go for a high-risk pick who holds the potential to be one of the greats at some point down the line.
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