Twins' Byron Buxton is "the best prospect I've [ever] seen," scout says [VIDEOS]
The Twins' big-league club may be struggling through a third consecutive mediocre-to-terrible season, but the future is bright.
One of the biggest reasons for optimism is outfielder and mega-prospect Byron Buxton. Last year's second-overall pick is setting the world on fire for the Twins' Class A affiliate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to the point where respected baseball publications like Baseball America are now writing "Byron Buxton porn" articles about him.
A graph in the Baseball America piece compares the 19-year-old Buxton to other highly acclaimed prospects that tore up the Class A Midwest League, including Joe Mauer (click to enlarge):
The piece also contains this glowing quote about Buxton from a longtime National League scout: "I am positive he's the best prospect I've seen in [more than a decade] of full-time scouting... It's not even close. Tools, athleticism, feel and vision. Time will tell what kind of major league player he becomes, but the sky is the limit."
"Joe Mauer, Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, that's the grouping I have him in as far as pure hitting approach," the scout continued.
But while Buxton's rare combination of speed, power, and instincts is drawing lots of comparisons to Mike Trout, the Angels outfielder who tore up the Midwest League and then went on to be the AL's Rookie of the Year and an All-Star during his age-20 2012 rookie season, Twins VP of player personnel Mike Radcliff told Baseball America Buxton is still probably a year or more away from making his big-league debut.
Unless, of course, he continues to play like a Barry Bonds-Willie Mays hybrid.
"As we sit here today, no reason to think a fast track isn't possible," Radcliff said. "He's surpassed all the expectations we had. He's passed with flying colors so far."
To see videos of two of Buxton's top plays from his stint in Iowa -- including a ridiculous diving catch and two angles of a dramatic walk-off grand slam he hit -- click to page two.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at email@example.com.
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