Rand: Weighing what we know about young prospects

  • Updated: June 30, 2013 - 11:07 PM
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Twins outfield prospect Byron Buxton

By the time Kyle Gibson made his debut for the Twins on Saturday, it felt as though he had been part of the big-league club for years. We knew all about his history, his ascent, his Tommy John surgery and, of course, his comeback.

By the time Shabazz Muhammad plays his first game for the Timberwolves, he will have gone through a full gamut of opinions from fans and writers who believe they know what he is all about as a person and a player.

These two things are not good or bad, right or wrong. They just are.

The information available to us in 2013 can feel overwhelming as a cumulative force. Broken down into the elemental parts, though, it is fascinating while still frightening to think about.

We used to hear assorted bits and pieces about sports prospects — the basics like tall or short and general skill set. Now we can know exactly how every Twins prospect is doing in every minor league game. We can often see highlights or even watch full games. Byron Buxton won’t make his debut with the Twins, likely, until sometime in 2015 at the earliest, but it already feels as if we know so much about him.

Part of it isn’t just the era, of course, but a combination of just how good Buxton and Miguel Sano are projected to be. Their talent stands out even in a sea of prospects and shines particularly brightly while Twins fans await better years ahead.

But a good piece of it is that all of this information is available, and so naturally we want to consume it. It’s far too long to wait until the Wolves’ season starts. We must know at this moment what to make of Muhammad’s less than one assist per game last season and other perceived personal baggage.

It’s not enough to know Gibson is a tall righthander with a chance to be a very good major league starter. We want to break down every minor league statistic and project exactly what it all means.

Good thing for Kyle, he fared well in his first outing. All our hopes and dreams have been realized, at least until the next time he pitches.

MICHAEL RAND






 

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