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  • Twins Select Byron Buxton #2 Overall In MLB Draft

    With the second overall pick in the 2012, the Minnesota Twins selected high school outfielder Byron Buxton out of Appling County High School in Baxley, Georgia. In doing so, they chose one of the consensus most talented prospects, but one with his share of risks.

    Buxton’s athleticism has earned comparisons to Eric Davis, Matt Kemp and even Willie Mays. (Read that last sentence again.) He is blessed with speed that is among the top seen in a prospect and an arm that has hit 97 miles per hour when throwing from a mound. He projects to stay in center field. He’s dominated his competition, and shows all the physical traits of a natural hitter who should add power.

    Like most first round picks, he is not without risks. Even again sub-standard competition, he only hit three home runs in his senior year. But he shows significantly more power in BP and in a home run Derby in Wrigley he hit the last row of the left field bleachers with one blast., finishing second in that competition. He is obviously far away from contributing to a big league club and the Twins as an organization are more starved for pitching talent than hitting talent.

    Opinions vary slightly on the top talent at the draft, but nearly everybody had him listed as a top three position player and most listed him at #1. Also, there is almost nobody who doesn’t believe he has the highest upside of anyone in the draft. At the very least, the Twins chose one of the most interesting players available.

    For more on Buxton, check out this summary of him by the Houston Astros blog Crawfish Boxes. For a more entertaining read, including a few mind-blowing non-baseball examples of Buxton’s athletic ability, check out this Sports Illustrated story.
    Comments 33 Comments
    1. Dark Kinetic-Grip's Avatar
      Dark Kinetic-Grip -
      Buxton looked absolutely depressed about the news. He couldn't move from his chair.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Good pick. Here is my mini-profile on him with 3 videos.
    1. luckylager's Avatar
      luckylager -
      good pick!
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I was fine with Gausman, Correa, Buxton, Zimmer, Appel...so I guess I'm fine. Didn't see the reaction, but it sounds like he wasn't thrilled. Not a good start to endearing himself to the fans.
    1. PMKI's Avatar
      PMKI -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I was fine with Gausman, Correa, Buxton, Zimmer, Appel...so I guess I'm fine. Didn't see the reaction, but it sounds like he wasn't thrilled. Not a good start to endearing himself to the fans.
      You would think that he would had to have known it was either the Twins or the Astros.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      I think he was fine. They talked to him before the draft and he looked like he was a little overwhelmed by the attention, trying to stay cool. It appeared the same after he was selected. It seemed like he was having a hard time hearing the announcers, too.
    1. Cris E's Avatar
      Cris E -
      How different did Hunter or^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Span look the day they were drafted? Top picks go to bad teams, and #2 is going to be worse than most. (EDIT: Hunter wasn't a top pick.)
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      I am glad he didn't Cam Newton it and act like a Rock Star.
      Get him in E-town ASAP to keep him humble
    1. Chance's Avatar
      Chance -
      I said that I thought Gausman was the top pitcher in the draft, and therefore the Twins should pick him. With that said I like Buxton and will support him as a Twins fan from now until he busts or is traded. Best of luck to him. Hope hes everything the Twins think he is and more.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Thanks John, good to know.
    1. skraft33's Avatar
      skraft33 -
      I can't blame the Twins from taking the guy they thought was the best player on the board.
    1. Mauerzy4Prez's Avatar
      Mauerzy4Prez -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cris E View Post
      How different did Hunter or^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Span look the day they were drafted? Top picks go to bad teams, and #2 is going to be worse than most. (EDIT: Hunter wasn't a top pick.)

      Read this article a see his quote after he was drafted. He is a young guy who is clearly not used to that much attention. I have think we made a killing on this pick!
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Chance View Post
      I like Buxton and will support him as a Twins fan from now until he busts or is traded.
      These are the options, are they? Real optimism.
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      Twins already announced on radio that Buxton will go to GCL not ELIZ....that's next yr.....grrrr
    1. twinstalker's Avatar
      twinstalker -
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      Twins already announced on radio that Buxton will go to GCL not ELIZ....that's next yr.....grrrr
      That's fine. If he crushes the GCL, they'll move him up. If he doesn't, he needs to stay there...as well as improve during the instructional league in the fall. Simple as that. I think he starts at Beloit next year. I don't see him staying in extended spring training after playing this summer.
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      It would be great if he signs quickly enough to play GCL opening day on the 18th!
    1. mlhouse's Avatar
      mlhouse -
      So, if we sign him (and I assume we do), it is GCL. Then extended Spring Training and Elizabethton. Then Beloit, and maybe a promotion to Ft Myers. Then Ft Myers. Then New Britain.

      At a minimum this guy will help us in four fn years. WHO IS GOING TO PITCH FOR THIS TEAM IN THOSE FOUR YEARS? Nick Blackburn, Cole DeVries, Scott Diamond, PJ Walter, and Liam Hendricks, with absolutely zero quality bullpen pitchers? Compounding the problem is then selecting another HS player with the first comp selection.

      THeir one college arm is coming off an injury, Luke Bard, projects as a setup man in the majors. We do need quality relief pitchers, but not getting an established college starting pitcher is just ridiculous.

      Sorry, this is extremely poor management and the team is being run "The Twins Way" even though that model is past its expiration date.
    1. TheMix's Avatar
      TheMix -
      I disagree vehemently with that last assessment. You take the best player available generally, and especially in this case, with a guy that has that steep an upside. We do need pitching, but no one pitcher, be it Appel, Gausman, etc. is A) going to help right away B) be a lock to help your team or C) help a team that was one loss away from a 100 loss season so drastically that he completely alters your look in the division....hell, even Strasburg couldn't do that, and he was the pitching pick of my generation. That's just terribly shortsighted....especially in a draft that was light on talent to begin with. From everything I've read, Appel/Gausman probably wouldn't have gone top 5 last year....and projected as #2 starters. We got a projected #2 starter with the 32nd pick with a little more risk involved. This team wasn't going to be solved with one college pitching prospect (that also are never locks) so why be angry when they took the guy that had perhaps the highest upside in the draft? 38 SB in 39 tries, throws 97 off the mound, batted .500, and will hopefully develop power. How is that not just as good as a player that plays 1 of 5 games and can't propel a team single-handedly to the division title either? We got pitching today, and we'll get more tomorrow, and we'll almost assuredly get just as good, if not better pitching next year when we'll still be up near the top, and with a better draft class (according to Kevin Goldstein). "The Twins Way" has come up against some rather hard knocks lately due to bad luck....you wanted them to draft pitching, well they did with Gibson and Wimmers (both looked to be solid locks for #2's or at worst #3 just like Appel and Gausman), and both of them went down (unfortunately). That's not "the Twins Way"'s fault. That's bad luck. This was a not so great draft class with a guy like Appel that looked to be not so signable (especially now), knowing full well that no one pitcher is going to save this team (not now, not in the next year or two) and they took a guy that has ridiculously high upside. That's not poor management, that's discerning and very intelligent management.
    1. Harrison Greeley III's Avatar
      Harrison Greeley III -
      mlhouse, this isn't the NFL. There's a lot you can criticize this organization for right now, but you're really up the wrong tree.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      His sentiment may have missed the target, but when the main adjective for the #2 overall pick is "projectable" there is room for concern. Projectable is basically and optimistic way of saying maybe. Are we really so certain that the Twins are going to develop power in a guy who as of now does not posess it? There is no track record to show this organization has the knowledge and instructors to do this. Skeptics have the right to think his true upside may be closer to Michael Brantely.

      I'm just playing devil's advocate, I'm going to back this guy until he proves undefendable, but there is plenty of room for doubt, I'm not going to bash anyone who disagrees with the pick.
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