Buxton is the brightest star in the minors, and fans need to be ready for his debut. Let's take a look at baseball's next big thing before he gets to the The Show.
Weight: 189 pounds
Expected MLB Debut: 2015
After being drafted second overall in the 2012 MLB draft, Buxton has taken the minor leagues by storm.
He quickly caught up with the game at the Rookie Ball level before absolutely dominating Single-A and High-A this year. He is batting .334 with 12 home runs and 77 RBI in 125 games, and will likely be promoted to Double-A for the beginning of next season.
He absolutely dominated Single-A this year, and people took notice:
Byron Buxton is hitting .413/.522/.641 with 17 steals in his last 25 games as a 19-year-old at high Single-A.— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) August 25, 2013
Byron Buxton has played 21 games this month. He has a .556 on-base percentage and 14 steals.— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) August 28, 2013
Buxton has already proven that he is among the best young players in the game today, thanks in large part to his five-tool approach.
He proved that he can hit for contact with his .334 batting average, but he can also hit for power. While his power numbers haven't been great in the minors, he has blasted a few clutch home runs.
Buxton has also proven to scouts that he has elite speed:
Byron Buxton combines Billy Hamilton's speed with all the other tools of a Byron Buxton.— Joe Krueger (@JosephKrueger) September 5, 2013
If you don't believe that this kid has wheels, check out this infield hit.
He also puts that speed to good use in the outfield, tracking down balls and putting his body on the line to make spectacular plays.
Scouts love this kid, and one even went so far as to call Buxton the best prospect he's ever seen.
It's hard not to get caught up in the Buxton hype. At 19 years old, he is already one of the best players in the game today, and big things are expected of him when he finally makes it to the pros. His lean power, speed and polished approach to the game make him the best prospect in baseball, and he could potentially be a future Hall of Famer.
Big League Comparison: Mike Trout
There might not be a better five-tool player in the game today than Mike Trout, which is why he has to be Buxton's MLB comparison.
Apart from the fact that both guys have ridiculous skill sets and play center field, the two have eerily similar beginnings to their minor league careers.
Just take a look at this table to see how similar the two have been:
|Byron Buxton (2013)||.334||163||109||55|
|Mike Trout (2010||.341||173||106||56|
As you can see, both Buxton and Trout have dominated the minors, putting up almost identical numbers.
Obviously asking Buxton to be as good as Trout was when he first came to the pros is a lot to ask. However, he has the potential to be the next Mike Trout, and the Twins are certainly hoping he will be.
Time for the part that everyone wants to know about: Buxton's expectations.
Obviously Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Ben Revere has seen Buxton play, as they were both part of the Minnesota Twins organization at one point. And Revere certainly has high hopes for him:
Congrats to my lil bro @OfficialBuck103 for getting minor league player of the year!! Keep working hard homie and never be satisfied!!— Ben Revere (@BenRevere9) September 11, 2013
Buxton has all the tools to be a star in the majors. He could be the next Yasiel Puig or Mike Trout, but he could also potentially be a huge bust.
While we probably won't see him in the majors for another two years, when Buxton makes his debut he should be 21 years old and fresh out of the minors.
Buxton will likely come to the Twins as the face of the franchise, and I fully expect him to live up to the hype.
After proving just how good he is this season, Buxton will likely come to the majors and hit roughly .280 with 20-25 home runs in his first full year in the bigs. Asking more than that is too much, but don't be surprised if he hits north of the .300 mark.
Buxton is going to be a star, and hopefully the baseball universe will be ready for him.