CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - While the last few years have been tough on Twins fans, the team's front office has spent a lot of time and resources improving their farm system.
And now, the Twins have one of the best sets of prospects in the majors. In fact, minorleagueball.com ranks the Twins farm system as No. 7 in the majors and says, "this could be a top three system by end of 2013."
One of the Twins top prospects is 19-year-old outfielder Byron Buxton. In less than a year in the Twins organization, Buxton has already worked his way up the ranks to Single-A.
Buxton was taken with the 2nd overall pick in the 2012 amateur draft and spent his first season with the Gulf Coast League and rookie league teams. This year, Cedar Rapids, Buxton is having a breakout season. In his first 42 games, he's already surpassed every one of his offensive numbers from last year.
As for why Buxton is having this success, he says the answer is simple.
"Just been plate discipline, seeing the ball real well, hitting it real well, hitting it hard, and just getting on base, teammates driving me in," Buxton concluded.
"He's been everything you can imagine, especially in a 2nd overall pick, and with the spotlight that's on him, how he's handling that and how he's been performing to this point, I don't think you could have started any better than he's started," said Cedar Rapids manager Jake Mauer.
While Buxton is making a quick rise through the minor league ranks, his Target Field debut may still be a couple of years away.
"Playing in the Midwest League is a long ways away from the Major Leagues and he has a lot to learn before he can play up here and be successful," Twins Director of Minor League Operations Brad Steil said.
But that hasn't gotten Buxton down.
"I'm trying to make my way up there, as quick as possible. It's the real world up there. It's a man's game when you get to the pros and you got to make sure you're ready for what's about to happen," he said.
Buxton doesn't know if he'll spend the rest of the year in Cedar Rapids or get moved up in the farm system. And, to him, it doesn't matter.
"I'm just out here having fun, playing the game I love," he said.