Understandably, there is a lot of excitement surrounding his arrival and surely produced a lot of hand-wringing prior to their debut. amount of expectation-tempering as Twins fans try to figure out what it means to have a player of Buxton's caliber on the roster
While Buxton wasn't Baseball America's top prospect for 2015 (that prize went to the Cubs' Kris Bryant) he was their 2014 top prospect, which puts him in some pretty elite company, joining players like Bryce Harper, Jason Heyward, Joe Mauer, and Alex Rodriguez.
All of these players excited their team's fans upon their arrival and surely produced lot of hand-wringing prior to their debut. So, here is what the last 20 years of Baseball America Top Prospects did in the very first major league game, along with the date of their debut (Pitcher stats have been omitted):
2015: Kris Bryant, April 17, 2015, 0-4, 3K
2014: Byron Buxton: Pending
2013: Jurickson Profar: September 2, 2012, 2-4, 2B, HR, R, RBI
2012: Bryce Harper: April 28, 2012, 1-3, 2B, RBI
2011: Bryce Harper: April 28, 2012, 1-3, 2B, RBI
2010: Jason Heyward: April 5, 2010, 2-5, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI,
2009: Matt Wieters: May 29, 2009, 0-4, K
2008: Jay Bruce: May 27, 2008, 3-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB
2007: Daisuke Matsuzaka
2006: Delmon Young: August 29, 2006, 2-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
2005: Joe Mauer: April 5, 2004, 2-3, 2 R, 2 BB
2004: Joe Mauer: April 5, 2004, 2-3, 2 R, 2 BB
2003: Mark Teixeira: April 1, 2003, 0-3, BB, K
2002: Josh Beckett
2001: Josh Hamilton: April 2, 2007, 0-1 (1-3, HR, R, RBI, 2BB in full debut on April 10)
2000: Rick Ankiel (P)
1999: J.D. Drew: September 2, 1998, 0-2, K (0-3, R, 2K, BB in first start on Sept. 13)
1998: Ben Grieve: September 3, 1997, 3-4, 3 2B, 2 R, 5 RBI, BB
1997: Andruw Jones: August 15, 1996, 1-5, R, RBI, 2K
1996: Andruw Jones: August 15, 1996, 1-5, R, RBI, 2K
1995: Alex Rodriguez: July 8, 1994, 0-3
The good news for Buxton is that, unless he becomes the first top prospect in the last 20 years to earn a Golden Sombrero on his debut, he's unlikely to have a worse coming out party than Bryant did in April.
On the other end of the spectrum, he'll be chasing Ben Grieve and Jay Bruce for the best day, though Jurickson Profar isn't far behind in terms of productivity. If that isn't reason enough not to get too high or too low about what Buxton does in his first game, I'm not sure what is.
One way Buxton could set his name in the stars is if he steals a base; since 1990, no BA top prospect has successfully stolen a base on his debut.
No matter what he does, it's fairly clear that what happens when he does start has literally no effect on the rest of his career. Still, I don't think many Twins fans would say no to a duplicate of 2004 Joe Mauer.