Reason No. 3 why Buxton’s deal is so Important for the Minnesota Twins: An Elite talent stays in Minnesota
When the Twins were picking No. 2 overall in the 2012 draft, Byron Buxton was the clear-cut best option for the team. The high schooler from Baxley, Georgia was seen as the top prospect in the draft, but it seemed unlikely to most draft experts that the Houston Astros would take a risk on a high schooler, even with Buxton’s upside.
Those experts were right (the Astros ended up taking some shortstop named Carlos Correa. Maybe you’ve heard of him), and the Buxton fell into the Twins’ lap. He was taken, then signed a deal with the second-largest signing bonus in team history at $6 million (Royce Lewis got $6.725) and spent his time in the minors lighting it up as a Top 5 (and eventually No.1) prospect.
Once he got to the majors, his ability in the field and basepaths was evident. He showed flashes with the bat, but it wasn’t until 2019 that Buxton truly broke through. His injuries have made Twins fans wonder about him sometimes, but his talent has never been in question.
2021 was by far his best yet, as he produced the most WAR of any player since 1900 (who played in under 70 games). No, he hasn’t consistently produced like other Twins legends have, but he’s arguably the most physically gifted player to ever don a Twins uniform. Those one of a kind physical gifts will now be here for the next seven years (and likely longer).