Could Byron Buxton be the Next Mike Trout?
The Minnesota Twins are in re-build mode.
Not the same re-build mode that had them losing as many games as they have over the last two seasons, but they are not yet contending for AL Central Titles at the moment.
That could all be changing though with the recent success accompanied with the hope that their young talent will be major league ready sooner than later.
The insertion of Aaron Hicks into the starting lineup and in center field, gives the 23 year old MLB experience that can only be obtained by throwing him into the fire.
Over the weekend, one of the top prospects in all of MLB was given his first start on the mound for the Twins and Kyle Gibson excelled. He went six innings, gave up eight hits, struck out five and only gave up two earned runs in a 6-2 victory for the twins.
But with all the young arms and bats that are either on the current major league roster for the Twins or the others that will come up in the next few season, none of them may be as versatile and talented as Byron Buxton.
Buxton is a five tool guy. He can field his position, he can hit for power and has the speed to be elusive on the base paths.
Scouts are not surprised at this kids upside and talent, but some are surprised that he has been able to put it all together so quickly. He started his career 1-27 a year ago in the lowest level of the minor league system, but quickly started to catch fire last season and eventually found himself in Cedar Rapids this year.
Now the comparisons begin. The most intriguing and possibly accurate comparison may come in the regards of Mike Trout, last year's AL Rookie of the Year and five-tool stud for the Los Angeles Angels.
Buxton can hit like Trout did in the minors, he can run like Trout did in the minors and he can field like Trout did in the minors. The real question comes though, can Byron Buxton make the transition to the Majors like Trout did.
That is the question the Twins are trying to answer and certainly don't want to rush his advancement to the Big Show, yet don't want to have the "next best thing" sitting in their farm club while they could use him on the Major League stage.
Eventually Buxton will be a star. When he will be a star is the question. Here's how he stacks up against others who made their way through the Midwest League.
|How Does Buxton Compare?|
|Here’s a look at the top position prospects to come through the Midwest League since 2000.|
|2002||Joe Mauer||Quad Cities||19||411||58||124||23||1||4||62||0||61||42||.302||.393||.392|
|2006||Justin Upton||South Bend||18||438||71||115||28||1||12||66||15||52||96||.263||.343||.413|
|2010||Mike Trout||Cedar Rapids||18||312||76||113||19||7||6||39||45||46||52||.362||.454||.526|
|2011||Oscar Taveras||Quad Cities||19||308||52||119||27||5||8||62||1||32||52||.386||.444||.584|
|2013||Byron Buxton||Cedar Rapids||19||270||68||92||15||10||8||55||32||44||56||.341||.431||.559|