Everybody loves a good bit of Prospect Pr0n and so, without further ado, the good men and women at Baseball Prospectus unveiled their midseason top 50 prospects list. It’s a great read and well worth a BP subscription. Even if you don’t shell out the pennies for a subscription, you can see the top name on the list: Byron Buxton.
Byron Buxton was taken second overall by the Minnesota Twins in the 2012 Amatuer draft and, in his first full pro season, is showcasing all the skills and tools that made him a candidate for the number one spot. Just promoted to the Florida State League (High-A ball) at the tender age of 19, Buxton laid waste to the low-A Midwest League, putting up a .341/.431/.559 line with 8 home runs in 320 plate appearances.
While the minor league numbers are attractive, it is the “eyes-on” scouting which makes Twins fans salivate over their future franchise outfielder. Comps of all size and shape, from Torii Hunter to Mike Trout and beyond. Buxton is a tool shed who can run, throw, field and hit.
While BP has Buxton at the top of their list, Buxton ranked second on Keith Law’s updated version at the end of May. Law, like anyone and every one watches Buxton, loves his athleticism and “baseball skill” at a time when most prospects are more project than player.
Buxton isn’t the only Twins prospect making noise, as Miguel Sano also impresses minor league watchers with his power potential.
Buxton was selected second overall last year as the Astros chose Carlos Correa first. The Puerto Rican shorststop is putting up impressive numbers in his full-season debut, though he ranks down the Baseball Prospectus list at 16. This is the risk the Astros ran when they opted to save some money in selecting Correa: Buxton could realize all the blue sky predictions for his pro career.
It’s still very early and, based on the ever-growing stable of talent in their pipeline, the Astros can only focus on the players they did select rather than playing what could have been with Buxton. There is still a long, difficult road before him in his professional career. Even the best prospects stumble, tools or otherwise.