The Twins selected Georgia high school outfielder Byron Buxton with the No. 2 overall pick in the MLB draft this evening.
From the Star Tribune:
The 6-foot-2 Buxton batted .513 for his high school team and also posted a 10-1 record as a pitcher. He hit three home runs for Appling High School, but opponents often pitched around him.
“Byron Buxton is the biggest game-changing player that I have seen in Georgia since (Royals outfielder) Jeff Francoeur,” said a rival high school coach, Josh Cole, in a news release after Buxton was named Gatorade’s Georgia Baseball Player of the Year.
The selection of Buxton was a bit surprising considering Houston passed on Stanford ace Mark Appel, widely considered the top prospect — though many scouts worry about his makeup, namely that he’s too nice. With the Twins short on pitching throughout their organization, it would have made sense for them to snatch up Appel. General manager Terry Ryan had said all along, however, that the team would take the best player available, regardless of position, and the Twins obviously had Buxton at the top of their wish list all along.
On a side note, it’s always tough to get excited about the MLB draft. Whereas players selected in the NFL draft have a chance to make an impact right away, baseball prospects overwhelmingly take four, five and six years to reach the big-league club — if they ever do.