Byron Buxton

Position: CF
Level: MLB
Age: 22
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 190
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: 1st Rd., (#2 overall) 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft (MIN)

Prospect Spotlight

The Potential Tools: 80 run, 70 glove, 60 hit, 60 arm, 50 power

Strengths: Elite athleticism; 80-grade run; explosive first step and quickness; sub-3.9 HP to 1B run times; loose, explosive, strong wrists; lets ball travel deep into hitting zone; quick hands and plus-plus bat speed; advanced approach and pitch recognition skills; innate hand-eye coordination leads to contact skills and barrel control; will use all fields; lift in swing; plus raw power; added strength could allow power to play average or above; present ability to backspin to pull side with developing ability to backspin to opposite field gaps; plus-plus range; above-average reads and reactions in center field; elite run allows him to cover deep into both gaps; glove projects plus plus; arm is plus; brings immense defensive value regardless of offensive output; high baseball IQ; plus makeup; plays game with high intensity.

Weaknesses: struggled in first stint in majors last year; swing and miss vs. plus breaking stuff down in the zone; high intensity can cause him to play reckless — higher injury risk; present power and future power are a full grade apart; differing opinions on future power output; needs to add weight for durability purposes; added weight and strength could slow range a touch.

Role Ceiling: 70; perennial all-star center fielder.

Risk: Low; defensive value in center field; advanced profile at the plate.

Summary: There is not a minor leaguer right now that brings the electric and complete profile that Buxton brings. He is an elite athlete with quality baseball skills and value on both sides of the baseball. In center field, his elite run allows him to have plus-plus range to both gaps, and he features a plus arm that will be a weapon. At the plate, Buxton features plus bat speed, an advanced approach and developing power that could allow him to be one of the premier players in the game. If his on-base percentage is high enough, Buxton will challenge for the league lead in stolen bases year-in and year-out due to his elite run and ability to read pitchers. He has the ability to backspin the ball all over the field due to the slight natural lift in his swing and with some strength added to his frame his power projection could reach average.

A center fielder with a plus-plus glove, plus arm, elite run, plus hit and potentially average power is the profile Buxton brings – he is a rare, special player.