Trout was still only 19 when he debuted with the Angels in 2011, and he hardly set the American League on fire that half-season (.220 batting average in 40 games). He opened the 2012 season in Triple A, partly because of a spring training illness and partly because the Angels had a number of foolish big-money contracts in the outfield. But that didn’t last long; after 20 games in Triple A, Trout was in the majors to stay.
We can’t know what physical pitfalls, if any, await Buxton on his march to the majors, but we do know the Twins aren’t stockpiling the like of Vernon Wells and Bobby Abreu as roadblocks.
The Trout timeline is the most optimistic, yet reasonable, one for seeing Buxton in the majors: Around the All-Star break next year.
Sano and Rosario are already in Double A, and the Twins have been known to skip Triple A with the best prospects. Either could open the 2014 season in the majors; at the very least they’ll be bucking for a mid-season callup.
The future may be closer than we think. I get giddy thinking about it.
Edward Thoma (344-6377; firstname.lastname@example.org) maintains his Baseball Outsider blog at fpbaseballoutsider.blogspot.com. Follow him on Twitter @bboutsider.