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Byron Buxton

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Byron Keiron Buxton

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Byron Buxton was the first American picked in the 2012 amateur draft.

Buxton hit .513 with 17 doubles and 38 steals as a high school senior while going 10-0 with 154 K in 81 innings as a pitcher. On May 31, he struck out 18 to help his team win its first state title. He had been timed at 6.6 seconds in the 60-yard dash as well. His athleticism also shown through on the football field, where he was an All-State receiver and defensive back with a football scholarship offer to the University of Georgia. All that was enough to convince the Minnesota Twins to pick him second overall in the 2012 amateur draft, one selection after Carlos Correa of Puerto Rico. He soon signed for a $6 million bonus and made his pro debut with the GCL Twins on June 22nd, going 0-for-4. He also played for the Elizabethton Twins that first season, ending up with a combined batting line of .248/.344/.448 in 48 games.

In 2013, Buxton began the year with the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Class A Midwest League where he hit an excellent .341 in 68 games. In mid-season, he was promoted to the advanced Class-A Fort Myers Miracle of the Florida State League, but did not slow down much, as he hit .326 in 57 games. Between the two, his batting line was .334/.424/.520 in 120 games, with 109 runs scores, 19 doubles, 18 triples and 12 homers, 77 RBIs and 55 steals. Those eye-popping numbers resulted in his being ranked the #1 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America prior to the 2014 season. He was in spring training with the Twins that year, and while there was speculation he would be playing in the majors before the All-Star break, he was in fact sent back to Fort Myers to begin the season. Even more surprising, he seemed to lose his batting stroke there, as he hit only .240 in 30 games, losing a lot of playing time to various injuries. After a couple of strong performances in early August, the Twins decided to promote him to AA on August 11th, assigning him to the New Britain Rock Cats of the Eastern League. In his first game for his new team, however, he suffered a concussion and had to be taken to hospital in an ambulance as he collided with RF Mike Kvasnicka in the 5th inning. He was unconscious for 10 minutes following the jarring collision. Although he did not suffer any fractures, the Twins decided to play it safe and announced that Buxton would not return that season.

Source: MLB.com

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