Byron Buxton Rumors
In a recent two-part series for 1500 ESPN, Phil Mackey profiled Twins top prospect Byron Buxton and noted that Buxton's path to the Majors could be on a more accelerated timetable than most people think. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft, Buxton has obliterated Class-A Cedar Rapids similarly to Mike Trout, who played there two years ago when Cedar Rapids was an Angels affiliate. Buxton is hitting .368/.485/.632 with five homers and 13 steals in 29 games for the Kernels. Mackey adds that the Twins, who typically move prospects slowly, have been aggressive in the past with the likes of Joe Mauer, David Ortiz and Matt Garza. Chris Parmelee and Aaron Hicks are two current Twins who skipped Triple-A. In addition to that group, Oswaldo Arcia received only 10 games at Triple-A this season before being called up at the age of 21. Here's more on the Twins from Mackey's colleague, Darren Wolfson...
- Wolfson talked with Twins VP of player personnel Mike Radcliff about the upcoming draft, and Radcliff conceded that they're down to about four players they're eyeing with the No. 4 overall pick. Radcliff added that the Twins are likely to draft at a position of need, but that they still need to take the best player available at that position. That seemingly clashes with yesterday's report that they may cut a deal with prep catcher Reese McGuire and spend more heavily later in the draft.
- It's no surprise that two of the four players on the Twins list are Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray, although as the favorites to go No. 1 and No. 2 overall, neither college right-hander may be there.
- The Twins have had eight scouts evaluate Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier, and there's a 50/50 split amongst those scouts on which is the better prospect.
- Radcliff says the Twins aren't worried about dealing with Scott Boras if they select one of his advisees: "...he tells us what the deal is. We'll know (what it'll take to sign the player)."
- Radcliff praised San Diego third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant's versatility and power and also noted that Indiana State left-hander Sean Manaea's injury battles this Spring "has to be a factor." Both have been considered Top 5 talents, though Manaea's stock has fallen, as Radcliff noted.
- When Wolfson mentioned comparisons between Buxton and B.J. Upton, Radcliff replied that he feels Buxton will be "a way better hitter" than Upton and added: "Upton is a nice player, a plus defender. ... But Buxton has a swing that will allow him to hit for average. It's the fastest, quickest, most direct swing you'll see."
- Top prospect Kyle Gibson seems close to Major League ready following Tommy John surgery in late 2011, but Radcliff said Gibson is not quite ready to join the Major League rotation yet. Gibson, whose last start was an eight-strikeout shutout, is still a bit "uneven," according to Radcliff.
6:00pm: Buxton obtains a $6MM bonus, Jim Callis of Baseball America reports.
TUESDAY, 8:30am: Buxton's bonus will surpass that of first overall selection Carlos Correa, Ben Goessling of the Pioneer Press reports.
MONDAY: The Twins have reached an agreement with second overall pick Byron Buxton, pending a physical, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Buxton arrived in the Twin Cities on Monday and will take his physical tomorrow.
There are no details on Buxton's signing bonus as of yet, but the recommended slot for the No. 2 overall pick is $6.2MM. With No. 1 overall pick Carlos Correa signing well under slot, there's a chance that Buxton could receive the largest bonus of the 2012 draft.
Neal reports that Buxton will likely report to the Twins' rookie league team in Fort Myers, Fla., and that he could advance to Minnesota's Appalachian League affiliate in Elizabethton, Tenn. It was reported over the weekend that the two sides were near an agreement.
Stephen Strasburg struck out 13 Red Sox tonight, becoming the first visiting pitcher to strike out that many batters in Fenway Park since Mike Mussina flirted with a perfect game in September 2001. Here's some news from around the league...
- Representatives for second overall pick Byron Buxton will be in Minnesota to negotiate with the Twins early next week, reports Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter). There's optimism a deal could be reached as soon as next Wednesday.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says the Blue Jays are expected to have interest in Carlos Quentin should the Padres make the slugger available. Ben-Nicholson Smith looked at Quentin as a trade candidate last week.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote about Mets manager Terry Collins, who says he's made a conscious effort to change his style after high-strung stints with the Astros and Angels in the 1990s.
- High school shortstop Tanner Rahier and high school outfielder Anthony Alford are among the top remaining players, Nathan Rode of Baseball America writes.
- Keith Law of ESPN.com likes what the Astros (Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers Jr.) and Pirates (Mark Appel) accomplished yesterday. Law's list of best available players features nine high schoolers including third baseman Carson Kelly and right-hander Kieran Lovegrove.
- Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com provides an overview of day one, including a preview of the interaction between the Pirates and Scott Boras, the advisor for Appel. Commissioner Bud Selig said he's "very optimistic" that the new system will work out, according to Crasnick.
- McCullers and his father, Lance McCullers Sr., were selected 41st overall 30 years apart from one another, Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle notes (on Twitter).
- Blue Jays scouting director Andrew Tinnish says college right-hander Marcus Stroman is very advanced, though not necessarily MLB-ready, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports.
- Top Orioles selection Kevin Gausman said he's confident he’ll be able to reach a deal with Baltimore, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports (on Twitter). The Orioles drafted Gausman fourth overall, making him the first pitcher selected.
- Scouting director Deron Johnson said the Twins wanted Byron Buxton all along and had been targeting the high school outfielder since last summer, Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com reports.
- Arizona State coach Tom Esmay says top Red Sox pick Deven Marrero is committed to improving his game, Alex Speier of WEEI.com writes. Red Sox scouting director Amiel Sawdaye doesn’t sound concerned about the shortstop's unimpressive offensive numbers.