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Top Twins prospect Byron Buxton, bottom, collided with fellow outfielder Mike Kvasnicka (No. 9) on Wednesday during a New Britain Rock Cats game. New Britain is the Class AA affiliate of the Twins. Buxton was put on a stretcher and taken to a hospital via ambulance after the collision.

Scott Blanchette photography,

Twins GM Ryan: Buxton could return to action later this season

  • Article by: La Velle E. Neal III
  • Star Tribune
  • August 15, 2014 - 9:12 AM

The Twins will consider allowing prospect Byron Buxton back on the field before the end of the minor league season if he’s cleared to play.

Buxton, who began the season as the top prospect in baseball, is recovering after suffering a concussion on Wednesday when he collided with teammate Mike Kvasnicka while chasing a fly ball during Class AA New Britain’s game against Bowie.

Buxton, who was motionless for about 10 minutes following the collision, spent about an hour at a local hospital before he was discharged and was back in the clubhouse following the game. Twins General Manager Terry Ryan, who was at the game and with Buxton at the hospital, said Buxton could return to the field before the season is over.

“He’s got to go through the concussion tests, just like the major leaguers do,” Ryan said. “Once a kid shows any concussion symptoms he has to go through the protocols. You have to send the results to MLB doctors.”

Buxton was playing in his first game for the Rock Cats after being promoted from Class A Fort Myers. His season has been interrupted several times by injuries. He injured his left wrist in March and aggravated it in May, then returned to action in July only to be hit by a pitch in the right wrist and miss about a week.

Kvasicka injured his hip in the collision and has some abdominal discomfort but should be fine, Ryan said.

“I tell you what,” Ryan said. “It was a tough thing to watch them go throught that.”

Ryan was impressed with how Buxton handled the situation.

“He’s a quiet kid and it wasn’t his best day, but he was fine,” Ryan said. “I was pleasantly surprised. He’s got a good personality, he’s got a good sense of humor. He’s one of the best kids we have, and we have a lot of good ones.”

It’s been a tough year for Twins prospects. Third baseman Miguel Sano is out for the season because of Tommy John surgery. Second baseman Eddie Rosario missed 50 games for violating baseball’s drug policy and also was benched several games because of a team-related situtation. Righthanders Kohl Stewart and Jose Berrios have battled shoulder problems.

“It happens. You have injuries and all organizations do,” Ryan said. “We have a lot to look forward to. Rosario is back. Sano will be back. And Byron will be back.

“They are not career-ending injuries. It’s getting in the way of development, but they will be back. You have to deal with these things. Every club has them.”

 

© 2014 Star Tribune