Buxton playing for the Minnesota Twins in 2016
|Minnesota Twins – No. 25|
December 18, 1993 |
|June 14, 2015, for the Minnesota Twins|
(through July 17, 2016)
|Runs batted in||18|
Byron Keiron Buxton (born December 18, 1993) is an American professional baseball center fielder for the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was the second highest rated prospect in baseball according to MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus in 2015.
Buxton attended Appling County High School in Baxley, Georgia. He was considered by some baseball analysts to be the most talented player available in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft, and was selected as the second overall pick. He won Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year Award in 2013.
Buxton started playing baseball when he was six years old. He attended Appling County High School in Baxley, Georgia, where he played for the school's baseball, basketball and football teams. In his high school days, Buxton was given the nickname "Buck". As a pitcher during his senior year, he had a 10–1 win–loss record with a 1.90 earned run average and 154 strikeouts in 81 innings pitched. Buxton also threw a fastball that was recorded at 99 miles per hour (159 km/h). His speed eventually led him to obtaining a well-above average speed rating of 70 as he left high school and readied for the draft.
Scouts noticed Buxton when he was 15 years old. He was recruited to play on a traveling summer team. He appeared in baseball showcases, including the East Coast Pro Showcase and Under Armour Baseball All-America Game. As a senior in high school, Buxton hit for a .513 batting average with 38 stolen bases in 39 games. Buxton committed to a college baseball scholarship with the University of Georgia, intending to attempt to walk on to the football team. Considered a five-tool player, MLB.com rated Buxton the best prospect available in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft.
The Minnesota Twins selected Buxton with the second overall pick in the 2012 Draft. Buxton signed a contract with the Twins on June 12, 2012, that included a $6 million signing bonus. He made his professional debut in Minor League Baseball (MiLB) with the Gulf Coast Twins of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League (GCL), where he batted .216 in 26 games. Later in the year, he was promoted to the Elizabethton Twins of the Rookie-level Appalachian League, and batted .286 in 21 games. He was named the top prospect in the GCL.
Buxton started the 2013 season with the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Class A Midwest League. After he batted .340 with eight home runs and 32 stolen bases to start the season, the Twins promoted Buxton to the Fort Myers Miracle of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League in June. By midseason, MLB.com, Keith Law of ESPN.com, and Baseball America viewed Buxton as the best prospect in baseball. He represented the Twins at the All-Star Futures Game. With Fort Myers, Buxton compiled a .326 average with four home runs, 22 RBIs, and 23 stolen bases. After the season, Buxton was named the Midwest League most valuable player. Baseball America named Buxton the Minor League Player of the Year, and he won the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, given jointly by Topps and MiLB, as their Player of the Year.
The Twins invited Buxton to participate in spring training in 2014. He injured his left wrist, spraining his pisotriquetral joint, while diving for a ball and opened the 2014 season on the disabled list. He was activated on May 4, and assigned to Fort Myers. After playing in five games with the Miracle, Buxton reinjured his wrist. Buxton batted .240 in 30 games before receiving a promotion to the New Britain Rock Cats of the Class AA Eastern League on August 11. In his first game with New Britain, on August 13, Buxton collided with fellow outfielder Mike Kvasnicka. Buxton was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a concussion. The Twins shut Buxton down for the remainder of the regular season, but assigned him to the Arizona Fall League after the season.
Despite missing the majority of the 2014 season, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus rated Buxton as the best prospect in baseball at the start of the 2015 season, and Baseball America named him the # 2 prospect in 2015. Buxton opened the 2015 season with the Twins' new Class AA affiliate, the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern League. The Twins promoted Buxton to make his major-league debut on June 14. He scored the game-winning run in his debut. Buxton recorded his first hit, a triple, in his second game. After playing in ten games, Buxton sprained his thumb and went on the disabled list. The Twins activated Buxton from the disabled list on August 10 and optioned him to the Rochester Red Wings of the Class AAA International League, due to the strong play of Aaron Hicks.
Buxton is from Graham, Georgia, where he spent his adolescent years through high school. His father, Felton, owns a trucking company, and his mother, Carrie, works in a school cafeteria. He has a sister. Buxton's cousin, Dexter Carter, is a retired professional football player.
Buxton began dating Lindsey Tillery in 2012. She also attended Appling County High School, and was three years ahead of Buxton. The couple have a son together named Brixton Buxton, who was born in 2013.
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