Much attention has been paid the farm system of the Minnesota Twins in 2013. Miguel Sano has gotten off to a scorching start at Advanced-A and Kyle Gibson is finally returning to form in his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Even with as much acclaim as the upper echelon of Twins prospects have gotten, it’s outfielder Byron Buxton that most consider the real gem of the organization.
On Thursday night, he showed why.
Leading 6-3 into the ninth, Burlington’s Jairo Diaz was called upon to get the final three outs. A pair of hit batsmen sandwiched around a double had loaded the bases with only one out when Buxton, the second-overall selection in last June’s draft, stepped in and won the game for Class-A Cedar Rapids, clearing the left field wall and giving the Kernels a 7-6 victory.
For Buxton, Baseball America’s tenth-ranked prospect, it was just the latest shining moment in what has already been a promising season. The slam was Buxton’s sixth home run of the year and his two-for-five night raised his average to .343 through 38 games. He’s added 32 RBI and 16 stolen bases and overall 20 of his 49 hits have gone for extra-bases. He’s done all of this while posting elite walk rates while keeping his strikeout rates under control.
Buxton is just 19 years old and in his first full season of pro ball, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a promotion to Advanced-A Ft. Myers before the year is up. So far, it looks like the Midwest League isn’t much of a challenge.