Baseball America: Buxton Top Prospect In FSL
Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:59 AM
According to Baseball America, Byron Buxton is the #1 prospect in the Florida State League. No surprise there, of course, as he is the #1 prospect in all of baseball.
Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario also made the list...
Posted 07 October 2013 - 12:28 PM
Kelly (St. Cloud, MN): I read recently the Twins are moving Rosario to the OF. Does this make his prospect status take a hit?
John Manuel: I've seen that speculation but as I wrote, our reports on his defense at 2B are that he's an acceptable player there. His prospect status is and always has been based on his bat. He'd profile better at 2B but it is conceivable he'll hit enough for an OF corner spot. To me, the Twins have more competition in the OF than at 2B.
Ted Cruz (Smartypantsville): What are the chances that Buxton begins 2014 in Fort Myers?
John Manuel: The same as you being Hillary Clinton's running mate in 2016.
Mike (Lakeville): Thanks for the chat, John. Do you hear positive things on Kennys Vargas? Also, is Aderlin Mejia a real prospect or just a fluke?
John Manuel: You're welcome. I heard positives on both players but both have significant holes in their games as well. Mejia has so little power, it's hard to see him hitting enough to be a regular. I think Kennys is a bit underrated, I like him quite a bit. He's not the pure hitter Vogelbach is, but he does hit, and he gets to his power, without excessive strikeouts. He's just a house and isn't a defender; not only does he lack range, he has pretty modest hands and footwork. I could see both as big leaguers but they have more work to do than others on this list.
Todd (MN): How serious are the concerns about Sano's Ks? I worry he's more Pedro Alvarez than the franchise-changing star the Twins seem to be banking on. Not that Alvarez would be a bad outcome for any prospect.
John Manuel: That was the exact comp that I put before 3 scouts, a RH Pedro Alvarez. They answered with Beltre, which surprised me because I thought Alvarez was more realistic. I still like the Alvarez comp but because I am not a scout and they are, I used their comparison.
Posted 07 October 2013 - 12:33 PM
Fort Myers was fun, with 2000 Olympic hero Doug Mientkiewicz managing for the first time and piloting a team with two of the minors’ best prospects. First it was third baseman Miguel Sano, trailed by a documentary film crew and capable of launching—and admiring—tape-measure home runs at any time.
Then, after Sano left, the game’s best prospect showed up, and outfielder Byron Buxton lived up to the hype. In fact, he exceeded it, building his case for the Minor League Player of the Year award. Daytona shortstop Javier Baez, like Sano, swatted plenty of homers and similarly raised the ire of opponents with his swagger.
1. Byron Buxton, of, Fort Myers (Twins)
Age: 19. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 189. Drafted: HS—Baxley, Ga., 2012 (1).
Byron Buxton (Photo by Cliff Welch)
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft, Buxton earned his FSL promotion on June 24 and hit the ground running, hitting safely in 10 of his first 11 games, with a 15-for-22 stretch included.
His tools, none of which grade below a 60 on the scouting scale, earn Mike Trout comparisons, despite different body types. They also prompted one veteran pro scout to say he gave Buxton the highest OFP (overall future potential) he’d ever turned in.
Buxton’s feel for hitting surprised league observers the most, but all his tools graded out at least double-plus except for his power, which merely earns 60s from some scouts. Repeated questions to managers about negatives in his game prompted similar responses to this one from St. Lucie manager Ryan Ellis: “Good luck with that one.”
Brevard County manager Joe Ayrault said Buxton impressed nearly as much with his demeanor and how he played the game as he did with his tools. That evaluation doesn’t outstrip his tools, but his demeanor was still positive enough to make an impression.
2. Miguel Sano, 3b, Fort Myers (Twins)
Age: 20. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 232. Signed: Dominican Republic, 2009.
Miguel Sano (Photo by Mike Janes)
Sano seemed to be cruising to No. 1 prospect status until Buxton showed up, 15 days after Sano played his last FSL game. The third baseman helped Fort Myers get off to a 12-0 start with five home runs in that span, and he never really stopped hitting.
Any evaluation of Sano starts with 80-grade raw power. While his strikeout rate remained just north of 25 percent, he punishes the ball when he does make contact. Two scouts compared Sano’s offensive package to Adrian Beltre, from his swing path to his finish, and both said Sano had as much or more offensive potential than Beltre.
He’s no Beltre defensively, but Sano moves well for his size and has an exceptional throwing arm. He played a bit deeper this year, giving him more time to react, and showed improved defensive efficiency. He’ll have to continue to improve to stay at third long-term, but his bat would play even if he moves to first base.
12. Eddie Rosario, 2b, Fort Myers (Twins)
Age: 21. B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 170. Drafted: HS— Guayama, P.R., 2010 (4).
Eddie Rosario (Photo by Mike Janes)
The Twins converted Rosario from center field to second base in instructional league in 2011, and he spent most of 2012 at second while still playing some outfield. He was a full-time second sacker in 2013 and remains a fringy defender, though he’s improved at making the routine play. He made just four errors in 52 FSL games, and scouts believe he has the athletic ability and work ethic to be a playable, if not average, defender there.
Few scouts question Rosario’s bat. He has strong wrists, a quick bat and line-drive power to the gaps. He trusts his hands and hangs in well against lefthanders, and he’s quick enough to turn on good fastballs. He’s a plus runner, though basestealing won’t be a significant part of his game. Rosario plays with confidence at the plate and has growing confidence in the field.
Posted 07 October 2013 - 01:41 PM
Todd (MN): I imagine he wasn't all that close to the list as a reliever, but do you have anything on Zach Jones?
John Manuel: Jones has a big, big fastball and was one of the hardest throwers in the league, if not the hardest, lots of 98s, so that was up to the Twins' reports coming out of college at San Jose State. He's strictly a reliever but 98 would look good in the Twins bullpen if he can progress with his control and the consistency of his curveball.
Posted 07 October 2013 - 04:43 PM
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