Thursday, March 28, 2013

A teaser taste of Bryon Buxton

Bryon Buxton took batting practice last summer at Target
Field under the eyes of Ron Gardenhire and the coaching
staff when he came to sign his contract.
In the last week of spring training, with the rosters essentially set, teams frequently bring prospects over from the minor league camp for a day. Wednesday was Byron Buxton's turn — Buxton, last June's No. 2 overall draft pick, just 19 and already regarded as one of the brightest lights in the minors.

Before Wednesday's exhibition game against Pittsburgh, MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger tweeted this gem from Ron Gardenhire about Buxton:

He's a five-tool guy. Or maybe a six-tool guy. And if he can cook, he's probably a seven-tool guy.

So ... Buxton leads off the game against A.J. Burnett — veteran power pitcher — and singles sharply to center. Then he steals second, takes third on a throwing error by the catcher, and ultimately scores on a ground out.

For the game, Buxton was 1-for-4 with a walk. He stole two bases and scored three runs. Pittsburgh committed two errors trying to make plays on him.

Gardenhire again:

We just started laughing. How old is he, 19 years old? He gets up, rips one through the middle right away. You give him the green light, he steals second and goes to third. This game is not that easy. It really isn't. But that's why these guys are drafted No.1.

I expect Buxton to open the season with Cedar Rapids in the low A Midwest League. From there, he'll decide where he's playing. He's that kind of talent.

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