The Minnesota Twins had high expectations for top prospect Byron Buxton when they drafted him No. 2 overall back in 2012 out of high school. Fast forward five years and the organization is still waiting to see him blossom into a star, but perhaps things are finally looking up.
After toiling in the minors the past five seasons, with two call-ups to the Twins (2015, 2016), Buxton finally logged some extended time last season in Minnesota. Appearing in 92 games, he batted .225 with 67 hits, 10 home runs and 38 RBI while stealing 10 bases along the way.
By no means did he light up the ballpark, but progress was clearly made towards a potential permanent spot on the team’s big league roster.
In an appearance with SiriusXM Fantasy Sports, Twins general manager Thad Levine discussed the now 23-year-old outfielder’s progress.
“Levine spoke about Byron Buxton turning a meaningful corner last season in his development,” per SiriusXM Fantasy Sports on SoundCloud. “He never wants to be demoted to the Minor Leagues again and has worked very hard to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Levine believes he is going to be a high power, speed and on base player in the big leagues.”
Minnesota needs Buxton to live up to his potential. The club hasn’t made it to the playoffs since 2010 and has won less than half its games every year since, minus the 2015 campaign when they barely broke .500.
While one player isn’t going to turn things around by himself, we’ve seen many times that one man can be a spark that ignites a resurgence. Hopefully for Buxton and the Twins, he’s that guy.