Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

Continued: Twins prospect Byron Buxton is the next big thing

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 2, 2013 - 9:56 AM

Tools to burn

Buxton is the embodiment of an often-invoked and rarely realized prototype: the five-tool prospect. The five tools in baseball vernacular are the ability to hit for average, hit for power, run, throw and field. Some scouts add a sixth tool by separating power into raw power and game power.

Barry Bonds wasn’t a five-tool prospect. He couldn’t throw. Kirby Puckett wasn’t a five-tool prospect. He didn’t develop power until he reached the big leagues. Buxton has attended only three major league games in his life, but he grew up an Atlanta Braves fan, admiring two five-tool players in Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones.

“I watched the Braves when I got a chance,” he said. “But I was always busy playing baseball.”

Buxton’s speed is his most obvious attribute. He’s not only the fastest player many baseball observers have seen, but he also runs with a unique style, as if springs were fixed to his cleats. He goes from first to third like he knows a shortcut.

“Most people, they go to a game, they follow the ball,” Kelly said. “With this young man, you really need to keep your eyes on him. If you do, you will be very entertained.”

That speed, combined with an arm so strong he once had a pitch clocked at 99 miles per hour in high school, promises to make Buxton a Gold Glove-caliber fielder with tremendous range. That speed also has allowed him to steal 26 bases in his first 52 games at Class A, even though his base- running is a work in progress.

“Wait until Paulie gets his hands on this young man,” Kelly said, referring to Molitor, a brilliant baserunner. “He has a few things to figure out, but he’s a very impressive young man. He listens.”

Entering Saturday, Buxton was hitting .333 with seven homers, 11 doubles, five triples and 39 RBI this season. He had a .435 on-base percentage and a .545 slugging percentage. He spent April displaying remarkable power for a player so young and lean, and spent May seeing fewer fastballs as opponents began pitching him away. He has adapted by hitting the ball sharply to the opposite field.

“He’s a very respectful, quiet, kid,” Molitor said. “When you instruct him, he gives you that quiet affirmation that he understands, and then he’s able to apply what he learns very quickly.”

Buxton has hinted he possesses that shared characteristic of great athletes, a sense of the moment. In two months at Class A, he has hit a walk-off grand slam and a key inside-the-park home run on a ball dropped by an outfielder.

“He is something to watch,” Kelly said. “And I think he’s a wonderful young man.”

Born in a small town

Buxton grew up in Baxley, a town of about 4,400 located in southeastern Georgia. His father, Felton, is a truck driver. His mother, Carrie, taught school and now runs a day care out of the family house. Byron grew up playing ball all day.

“Sometimes I played football, to toughen me up,” he said. “But I always loved baseball. We’d play against rival teams, and then we’d all get together at somebody’s house and play video games. It was really all sports.”

On draft night last summer, the Buxtons threw a party. More than 1,000 people showed up.

Felton said he grew up with a single mother and, because of family responsibilities, couldn’t pursue sports with the single-mindedness he sees in Byron.

“I wanted to make sure Byron had that chance,” Felton said.

  • related content

  • Video: Byron Buxton, a star in the making

    Saturday June 1, 2013

    The Cedar Rapids Kernels star center fielder, Byron Buxton, is a top prospect selected No. 2 last season by...

  • Photo gallery: Twins prospect Byron Buxton

    Saturday June 1, 2013

    Chosen with the second pick in the 2012 draft by the Twins, Byron Buxton, 19, is dominating the Midwest...

  • Chart: How Buxton's tools measure up

    Saturday June 1, 2013

    buxton: how his tools measure upBaseball scouts use a rating scale ranging from 20 to 80. An 80 translates to...

  • Chart: Coverage of this week's baseball amateur draft

    Saturday June 1, 2013

    coming this week on the draftThe Star Tribune will have daily coverage previewing the baseball amateur draft, which starts Thursday....

  • Nineteen-year-old Byron Buxton, playing for the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Class A Midwest League, has speed and smarts in the outfield.

  • The Twins made Buxton the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft, behind another teen: Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa, who was taken by Houston.

  • numbersSome of Buxton’s offensive statistics in 52 games this season:.333Batting avg..545Slugging pct..435On-base pct.11Doubles5Triples7Home runs26Stolen bases

  • Byron Buxton’s speed and unique gait are his most obvious attributes. He has drawn comparisons to current Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen.

  • The Twins have another popular No. 7 in their organization, as evidenced by autograph seekers before a Cedar Rapids Kernels game last week.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Bottom 1st123456789RHE
Cleveland0        000
Minnesota0        010
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
HR: CLE- None MIN- None

ADVERTISEMENT

Toronto 1 Bottom 4th Inning
NY Yankees 1
Washington 0 Top 5th Inning
Miami 0
NY Mets 2 Bottom 3rd Inning
Atlanta 0
Boston 1 Top 3rd Inning
Baltimore 0
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Chicago WSox 4 Top 3rd Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Cleveland 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Minnesota 0
Detroit 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Kansas City 0
Seattle 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Houston 0
Los Angeles - J. Wright 1:20 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Turner
Texas - N. Tepesch 2:35 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 3:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong 3:10 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Arizona - W. Miley 3:10 PM
Colorado - C. Bergman
Cincinnati - A. Simon 7:05 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
San Diego 10 2nd Qtr 1:08
Buffalo 3
Dallas 7 2nd Qtr 0:18
St. Louis 21
Washington 17 2nd Qtr 2:00
Philadelphia 14
Houston 0 2nd Qtr 0:22
NY Giants 14
Minnesota 6 2nd Qtr 0:37
New Orleans 13
Tennessee 0 2nd Qtr 0:44
Cincinnati 19
Baltimore 10 3rd Qtr
Cleveland 7
Green Bay 7 2nd Qtr 2:00
Detroit 12
Indianapolis 20 2nd Qtr 1:13
Jacksonville 0
Oakland 3 2nd Qtr 0:03
New England 7
San Francisco 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Columbus 2 2nd Prd
Carolina 1
Buffalo 4:00 PM
Washington
St. Louis 5:30 PM
Columbus
Calgary 7:00 PM
Edmonton
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Calgary
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(21) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
(18) Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
Miss State 34 FINAL
(8) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(14) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(24) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
(22) Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(22) Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 2:00 PM
Toronto FC
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 1 1:20
Montreal 15
Ottawa 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close