Minnesota Twins: Top Draft Pick Byron Buxton off to Slow Start

Matthew Dicker@@MattDickerContributor IIIJuly 2, 2012

Photo Courtesy of Baltimore Sun
Photo Courtesy of Baltimore Sun

It's no secret that the Minnesota Twins are struggling on offense this year. The team's home run total is the second worst in the American League, and they have only scored 325 runs (11th in the AL), which explains a large part of the team's terrible 33-45 record, worst in the AL.

Yet, there is a bright spot on the horizon. In June's MLB draft, the Twins used their second overall pick to select Georgia high school standout Byron Buxton, who SI.com's Dave Perkin called "the finest position player in the 2012 draft" and "a legitimate five-plus-tool prospect."

The Twins are so enamored with Buxton that they gave him a $6 million signing bonus, $1.2 million more than was given to top pick Carlos Correa. The Twins promptly assigned Buxton to their Gulf Coast League affiliate, with the goal of promoting him to the rookie-level Elizabethton Twins by season's end.

Though he's only ten days and six games into his professional career, Buxton has been off to a slow start. In 19 at-bats, he has only one hit, after which he was promptly caught trying to steal second base. His batting average thus far is an anemic .053, and he has struck out and walked an equal number of times (three).

Despite Buxton's early struggles, the Twins organization has not begun to panic. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports Buxton's manager, Ramon Borrego, as saying, "He's just (swinging) a little bit under the ball...He got jammed (at bat) a couple of times but still hit the ball to the warning track the opposite way. He's going to be fine."

Buxton and his team next travel to Port Charlotte, FL to play the Tampa Rays' Gulf Coast affiliate, currently in first place in the Gulf Coast League South Division.