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  • Twin Cities' Georgia Peach

    When I look at how fortunate the Twins were last June in the draft, it’s hard to imagine this organization not returning to some level of major league competency soon. The organization picked up two teenagers with high ceilings with their first two picks of 2012, and both showed extreme promise after signing quickly and making their pro debuts. Byron Buxton was somewhat of a surprise to be available to the Twins at #2 overall. I feel the need to analyze what kind of player landed in the Twins lap with Buxton.

    The real Georgia Peach was Ty Cobb, who was a “snarling wildcat” by his own admission. Cobb was a true gem of a player, and posted a career .367/.433/.512 during a legacy played mostly in the “dead ball” era. Buxton is a gem of a prospect, and the fact that both Ty and Byron are from Georgia and play centerfield is where the comparison ends. But we all know the Twins have a 5-tool-potential guy here that was called a hybrid of the talented Upton brothers. So its safe to say, Minnesota got a “peach” of a player in the Georgia high-school senior.

    Buxton was named the top prospect (by Baseball America) in the Gulf Coast League last summer. After he “graduated” and played a lil bit in Elizabethton (with our other gem J.O. Berrios), Buxton was awarded with the #1 prospect billing in the Appalachian League as well! How did he accomplish that after hitting just .248 in 48 games at both levels, and struggling mightily out-the-gate? Look closer, and we see that he had a .344 OB% and a .448 SLG%. Not bad at all for a guy that is supposed to be more speedy than powerful on offense (he also stole 11 of 14 bases). No wonder he was BA’s top pick in every league he played in 2012.

    I saw a grading scale that was out before the last draft that had each player's current rating/potential rating listed in the following categories: Hit, Power, Speed, Field, Arm (the five tools on a 20-80 scale). Buxton was rated the following: 45/60, 45/60, 70/75, 55/70, 70/75. Those projections sound a lot more like B.J. than Justin Upton to me. Let’s just conclude that his upside is outstanding.

    If you haven't already, check out a nice video of the prize of the 2012 draft taking some BP for the E-Twins here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWNgAUT0xSY

    I predict Buxton is going to have more power than B.J. (like Justin), but be able to cover ground and stick in center field the way B.J. has. I earlier predicted that Buxton would hit 10-15 home-runs in a full season at Cedar Rapids next season, but I just have this feeling that he could mature into power quickly. Maybe he hits 20 HR’s during a full season at the low-A level, or at least keeps his SLG% near .500.

    Anyhow, Bux should continue to be productive and maintain his status as the “best of the best” prospect at every level he graces within the Minor Leagues. What are the chances he uses those tools to be a 20 HR/50 SB guy with Gold-Glove style CF defense in Minnesota? He most certainly will not get a look until 2015 or later. Your thoughts…
    This article was originally published in blog: Twin Cities' Georgia Peach started by mnfanforlife
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      My favorite nickname in all of baseball. My reason for clicking as well. I just love the old time creativity. "Rajah" Hornsby is another one I really like.
    1. AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS's Avatar
      AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS -
      My thought is i hope Buxton can turn out to be an All Star....lets hope
    1. twinsfaninsaudi's Avatar
      twinsfaninsaudi -
      Looks a lot like BJ Upton in his batting practice swing. I'm excited about both him and Berrios. Along with Sano and Rosario they form a good core of players at the low levels and there are others also. It lends a lot of support to the notion that the Twins should be aiming to build a contender for two or three years out. No wonder that Seth Stohls is one such advocate of the Twins taking that approach right now, he knows their minors as good as anyone who writes about it.
    1. Cody Christie's Avatar
      Cody Christie -
      Thanks for the post. I'm excited to see what he can do. I hope his power continues to develop.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I saw some video of him taking BP this offseason. Wow!! What a strong, quickly, powerful swing.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      I saw some video of him taking BP this offseason. Wow!! What a strong, quickly, powerful swing.
      Is there any way to share that video with the community here? Thanks!
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS View Post
      My thought is i hope Buxton can turn out to be an All Star....lets hope
      Yes, and with two LHH's (Kepler and Rosario) moving up together with Buxton and Sano...the Twins could someday sport a middle-of-the-order something like this: 2. Buxton 3. Rosario 4. Sano 5. Kepler...maybe Hicks leads off and Arcia bats 5 instead of Kepler. This is all years down the road. Even Arcia and Hicks could take a year or two to arrive
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Very nice! Some of my favorites: Stretch, Salty, Double X, The Big Train, Biscuit Pants
    1. Curt's Avatar
      Curt -
      Quote Originally Posted by YourHouseIsMyHouse View Post
      My favorite nickname in all of baseball. My reason for clicking as well. I just love the old time creativity. "Rajah" Hornsby is another one I really like.
      One of my favorites is "Old aches and pains" Luke Appling. Gotta love that.
    1. Teddy's Avatar
      Teddy -
      MNFanForLife, check out

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7yJdO3eZT8

      Even his pop-up at the end of the clip ended up in the seats.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by Teddy View Post
      MNFanForLife, check out

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7yJdO3eZT8

      Even his pop-up at the end of the clip ended up in the seats.

      You betcha Teddy! I have seen this scouting video a bunch of times, and every time I see it I am awed at what he can do. His arm or his speed is probably the most impressive tool right now...But that flash of power potential definitely got him the #1 prospect status going into the draft. Just a miracle that the Twins had him available to draft really
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Does anyone think the Twins will draft a non-pitcher at #4 this June?
    1. drjim's Avatar
      drjim -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      Does anyone think the Twins will draft a non-pitcher at #4 this June?
      Sure. If that is the best player available. Early lists have 3 of the top 4 prospects as pitchers so right now it looks like a pitcher but obviously a lot can change.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      The two high-school SS's look legit. Think we might get one of those guys ahead of their projected slot?
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      With Buxton's talent, anything is possible! Anyone see Bux making it out of low-A next summer?
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