Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton is considered by almost everybody involved in the game of baseball to be the no. 1 prospect in MLB. A true 5-tool player, Buxton has the potential to one day hit anywhere from leadoff to cleanup in a big league lineup.
After an impressive 2013 season, the 20-year old center fielder was invited to this year’s Spring Training in Fort Myers, Florida. Manager Ron Gardenhire is interested in getting Buxton and other prospects valuable experience this spring, and is anxious to see what they can do. Buxton is unlikely to see playing time in the big leagues in 2014, but has still been given plenty of opportunities to showcase his talent so far in preseason play.
In 125 games in single-A last season, Buxton produced a .334/.434/.520 line with 12 HRs, 77 RBIs, 109 runs and 55 SBs. He’s put up fairly consistent numbers in two professional seasons, has an outstanding glove, and should take the fast track through Minnesota’s minor league system.
Overall, Buxton has struggled at the plate this spring, and is hitting a dismal .158. In Saturday’s matchup with the Toronto Blue Jays, however, he showed off his power and blasted his first home run of the preseason. The two-run shot came in the third inning, and helped the Twins claim an eventual 4-3 victory. Minnesota hopes to see more of this from their potential superstar, and will continue to look for the right opportunity to offer Buxton his MLB debut.
The Twins’ new addition Phil Hughes was also very strong in his second outing of the spring on Saturday. He gave up only one hit through three innings, walking one and striking out two. Hughes has posted a solid 1.59 ERA so far in the 2014 preseason.