2012 Draft tracker: Buxton gets first HR; Seager debuts strong


All eyes are on Minnesota Twins first-round pick Byron Buxton. (Jerry Holt/The Star Tribune)

Byron Buxton may have been feeling the pressure that comes with being labeled the best player in the draft. The five-tool outfielder from Appling County HS in Georgia has drawn comparisons to Justin Upton and Eric Davis for his mix of power and speed, as well as his defensive abilities. The 6’-3”, 190-pound right-hander was selected second overall by the Minnesota Twins after hitting .533 with 17 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 28 RBI and 35 stolen bases as a senior. He was named Gatorade Player of the year in the state of Georgia, and was a USA Today and Baseball America First Team All American.

Life in the pros hasn’t come as easy to Buxton. After his first nine games for the Twins of the Gulf Coast League, he was just 2-for-31 (.065) with seven strikeouts, no RBI and no extra base hits. Sometimes, it takes time for a young player to adjust, get comfortable and remember to just rely on his instincts and abilities that got him where he is instead of over-thinking. It seems Buxton is starting to do just that. Over his last four games, he has gone 5-for-13 (.385) with a double, two RBI, a stolen base and his first professional home run on July 7. Now that he has his first home run out of the way, I expect him to start showing why everyone was so high on him. He looks more comfortable at the plate, and once a player of his talent gets his confidence going, opposing pitchers are going to start taking a beating.

Dodgers fans can breath easier now that Corey Seager, the team’s first-round pick (18th overall) has signed and made his pro debut. The 6’-4”, 200-pound shortstop got a $2.35MM bonus on June 30 and was assigned to the Ogden Raptors of the Pioneer League. Over his first three games, he is 5-for-13 (.385) with four runs scored.

Seager was the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of North Carolina after hitting .519 with 10 home runs, 37 RBI, 13 stolen bases and a .644 OBP for Northwest Cabarrus HS. He was also a key member of the 2010 U16 Team USA, hitting .514 with 12 RBI over nine games. Seager has tremendous bat speed and generates a ton of power from the right side. He has an advanced understanding of the strike zone and adjusts well with two strikes, shortening his swing to show he can be a high average hitter to go along with all of the power. His size, and lack of speed may force a move over to third base, but his instincts and strong arm would play well there.

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