Mar 4, 2014; Jupiter, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton (70) at bat against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State League Recap: Buxton Returns

It wasn’t the most inspiring of performances: 0-2 with no walks, no RBIs, no strikeouts as Fort Myers drummed Charlotte 10-5.. But it was the most important one in the Florida State League Sunday night. Byron Buxton, the consensus number one overall prospect in baseball, didn’t look spectacular sunday – he didn’t even finish the game – but he was back, and that’s what mattered. The Twins 20 year old centerfield phenom has missed almost the entirety of the season after injuring his wrist making a diving catch in spring training, and re-injuring it upon his return in May. It shouldn’t take him much time to get on roll again. The former number two overall pick hit .326/.415/.472 for Fort Myers last season and is considered a polished five tool talent.


Albert Almora, on the other hand, has put up a series of excellent hitting displays. The Daytona Cubs prospect homered in both games of Sunday’s monday’s double header against :akeland, going three for sevens with three runs and four RBIs. It’s been a disappointing season for the game’s 36th best prospect, but he’s returned to form of late. Over his last five games, the 20 year old has raked to .415/.452/.700 line.

Also on fire with the bat: Clearwater’s Brian Pointer. Through his first 65 games, the 22 year old Philadelphia outfielder hit four home runs, or precisely how many he’s hit in his last four games. They’ve been important long balls too; on Wednesday night, he launched a game-winning three run shot in the top of ninth to lift Clearwater over Tampa 6-5.


Meanwhile, the Manatee’s Tyler Wagner is just begging for a promotion. The 23 year old Brewers prospect was brilliant again last night, tossing 8.1 innings of one run ball, striking out nine and allowing just one free pass. The lone run in the ninth actually broke a 27 inning scoreless streak as Wagner has simply been dominant over the past month. He now owns an 1.81 ERA through 98 FSL innings. His peripherals aren’t stellar – 7.1 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 – but they’ve been trending upwards, as elucidated by his recent nine whiff, one walk start. A call up to Double-A should be in short order.

The other strong pitching performance of the week belongs to 2014 8th overall pick. The Phillies prospect earned his first professional win Sunday, holding Brevard County to just a single and no runs, striking out five and walking none. The LSU standout didn’t start, but came on in relief of Cliff Lee as Philadelphia is capping his innings. Considered one of the most major league ready arms coming into the draft, he could move quickly.



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