The observation about Buxton’s level bat swing is interesting. It seems like that is an organizational thing. If it helps keep his Ks down and elevate his batting average by sacrificing some power, it sounds like a good move to me. That approach helped turn Ben Revere and Denard Span into quality players. I’m not sure how comparable to Byron Buxton they were though.
My guess is that it’s his natural swing tendancy as Buztin has had limited pro experience. I doubt the Twins signed him and were able to change his swing plane in the short time before this video was taken last year
Thanks for a great post Mike. Could you say when you had a chance to observe Buxton? I know his numbers improved over the course of the season and I’m wondering where to situate what you’ve written here.
Comment by daddyboomboom — February 12, 2013 @ 7:19 pm
If you compare his in-game at bats with the BP video he struggled setting his hands back as fully in game as he did in BP. That seemed to throw off the rest of his timing from foot strike, hips, to getting his hands through the zone. That’s also probably why he rolled over all the 6-3 grounders and failed to inside out/square up the ball with authority as his did during BP.
Do we really care if people jump off the Buxton bandwagon? The Twins basically don’t trade prospects, so there’s not much use in keeping his perceived value high. It seems like he’ll end up the same player whether prospect evaluators are drooling over him or not.
this is the issue I have with ranking, just drafted kids who have yet to play any meaningful time in the minors. I with that lists would require some kind of meaningful threshold that prospects must play past before being considered for a top prospect in all of mlb.
maybe a secondary list ranking the newly drafted crew would also suffice for prospect lovers
He looks like a very good athlete (I don’t know about the Bo Jackson comps, but nobody is).
I’m not crazy about that swing though. Given where his hands start, he’s going to have a hard time getting any loft on low pitches and may struggle even making contact with anything in the outside/low quadrant. I wish he’d get his hands a little lower so it flattens out the plane of his swing… that would give him more margin for error and make it easier to drive the pitch the other way.
Comment by Alskntwnsfn — February 12, 2013 @ 11:21 pm
The Twins have proven to be good at slow developing toolsy outfielders. Torii Hunter, Jacques Jones, Denard Span and to a lesser extent, Ben Revere all had up and down development in the minors and the Twins were patient with all of them. Span was considered a bust until a great half AAA stint and suddenly was productive everyday centerfielder. Hopefully, they can do the same with Hicks and Buxton.
I personally am not a fan of these toolsy players. Yeah, it’s nice when it clicks for one of them and they turn into superstars. I just would rather have guys with two or three tools that don’t require a ton of projection. Projection = Risk. You have to take the risk on potential premium talents such as Buxton occasionally, but as stated by Brett above me, the Twins have an abundance of these toolsy players.
Comment by Pinstripe Wizard — February 13, 2013 @ 11:41 am
Yeah, Zunino’s a can’t miss prospect, just like Dustin Ackley. It’s a good thing the Mariners took Ackley instead of going with one of those tools guys like the Angels did.
Regardless, Zunino’s a four tool player, he’s got a great arm, plays good defense and hits for average and power. That’s why he was a top draft pick.
Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — February 13, 2013 @ 11:00 pm
I didn’t say that you couldn’t be successful drafting toolsy guys. However, using Mike Trout as a reason to draft toolsy high school guys makes about as much sense as saying every college righthander will turn into Roger Clemens.
My point about Zunino was that he doesn’t have the same ceiling that Buxton has. In fact from his Baseball America draft report, “Zunino doesn’t wow scouts with tools.” As far as your comment about Ackley, I would say he’s been a better player than Donavan Tate, a toolsy outfielder that was picked directly after him. You can always find players to fit your argument. I was just saying that I would rather draft higher floor players with slightly lower ceilings than extremely high ceiling players with much lower floors.
It’s about finding a balance between projection and safety. Rely too much on tools guys and you could end up like the Phillies with a bunch of athletes who can’t play baseball, rely too much on safety and you end up like the pre-Huntington Pirates with zero impact talent.
Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — February 18, 2013 @ 3:45 pm