We have seen the Twins' future, and it is good. It comes in the form of a speedy outfielder who even outranks Miguel Sano in terms of potential.
His name is Byron Buxton. He is 19. And he is Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year -- that's for all minor leagues, all teams -- as named on Wednesday.
Don't know much about Buxton? Join him for a Google Hangout at 2 p.m. today via Baseball America. Until then, here is what BA had to say about him:
In stops at low Class A Cedar Rapids and—following a late-June promotion—high Class A Fort Myers, Buxton hit a cumulative .334/.424/.520 with 49 extra-base hits, 55 stolen bases and a sparkling 76-to-105 walk-to-strikeout ratio in 125 games. He led the minors with 18 triples, finished second with 109 runs scored—one behind Marcus Semien of the White Sox—and 12th in stolen bases.
More impressively, Buxton ranked sixth in the minor league batting race, 10th in hits (163) and seventh in on-base percentage, despite being a full year younger than any other member of those top-10 lists.
Adding another layer to his accomplishments is the fact that just 15 months ago, scouts voiced concern about Buxton’s ability to adjust to quality pitching as he left the high school ranks for pro ball. The rapidity at which Buxton, the second overall pick in the 2012 draft from Appling County High in Baxley, Ga., has put those concerns to rest truly belies his youth.
“You think, ‘How can he get better?’ Well he’s going to get better,” a pro scout for an American League club said. “He’s just going to get better with repetitions and with a little tweaking here and there.”