DOB: 12/18/1993 (Age: 19)
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 189
Drafted: First round, 2012 (Appling County HS, Ga.)
Preseason Rank: 27
I honestly don’t even know where to begin with Buxton. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft, the 19-year-old has taken baseball by storm in his full-season debut for Low-A Cedar Rapids, as he’s relentlessly melted faces with his performance this year on both sides of the ball. At the dish, he’s arguably been the most productive—not to mention the most impressive—hitter in the minor leagues, showing advanced plate discipline, a consistent hit tool, plenty of raw power and plus-plus speed.
After destroying the Midwest League to the tune of .341/.431/.559 with 15 doubles, 10 triples, eight home runs, 32 stolen bases and 56/44 K/BB through 68 games, the Twins promoted Buxton to High-A Fort Myers in late June. Clearly he doesn’t buy into the stigma that the Florida State League favors pitchers, as the outfielder has batted .333/.377/.480 with 17 hits and eight RBI through 12 games.
While it’s doubtful the Twins will rush him to the major leagues, expect them to challenge him with more aggressive assignments moving forward. And considering his development and success this season as a teenager, there’s a realistic chance that Buxton makes his debut before the end of the 2014 season.
The 6’2”, 189-pounder has tapered build with wiry strength; strong wrists; plus bat speed; above-average raw power potential; ridiculous quick-twitch muscles. Approach and hit tool have been better than expected; advanced beyond his years. Simple, compact stroke with a short bat path; maintains balance throughout swing; works to achieve favorable point of contact; showcases effortless ability to explode through the baseball.
Plus-plus speed gives him excellent range. Lock to remain in center field; plus arm strength is more than enough for the position. Above-average defensive profile in center; reads and routes have improved. Lauded for his makeup and work ethic; still needs experience despite outstanding start to professional career; has the tools, athleticism and baseball skills to reach the major leagues in a hurry.