The Free Press, Mankato, MN

News Ticker

Sports

June 17, 2013

Thoma column: The Twins future is closer than you think

It was a big week for Twins prospects.

Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario moved up to Double A; Byron Buxton wowed everybody with a 3-for-4 performance on a rare televised game that was punctuated with a sensational diving catch at the wall.

All of which raises the question: When might these prodigies reach the majors?

The Twins have reason to downplay expectations. But timelines I’ve seen and heard of 2015 for Sano and Rosario and 2016 for Buxton seem unnecessarily extended. A climb of a level a year is reasonable for normal talents; Buxton is more than a normal talent.

The hardcore truth here is that players like Brian Dozier, Trevor Plouffe and Aaron Hicks aren’t good enough to keep Rosario, Sano and Buxton out of the majors. The younger three are in the minors, let us say, 70 percent because they aren’t fully ready for the majors and 30 percent because it doesn’t make financial sense to “force feed” them at the highest level.

But those rationales will disappear quicker than one might expect.

Buxton has an intriguing direct parallel in Mike Trout of Anaheim, the sensational outfielder who most in the sabermetric world believed should have been MVP last year over Miguel Cabrera.

Trout was a first-round pick in 2009. He signed with the Angels on July 2 of that year and made his major-league debut just a bit more than two years later (July 8, 2011).

Like Buxton, Trout opened his first full pro season playing for Cedar Rapids (Kernels fans must be getting rather spoiled). Consider these two stat lines:

BA OBP SLG

Trout .362 .454 .526

Buxton .344 .433 .567

Trout had six homers and 45 steals when the Angels moved him up to High A ball after 81 games with Cedar Rapids; Buxton, through 63 games with Cedar Rapids, has eight homers and 29 steals.

If the Trout parallel holds — and I don’t see why it wouldn’t — Buxton will move up to High A Fort Myers soon and finish out the year in the Florida State League. Next spring, Double A in New Britain, and by July, the majors.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Outdoors

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Tour Confidential: What Impact Will Tiger's Absence Have on Golf? Pujols joins 500 club Wall: 'This was a make or break year for me' Klatt's Mock Draft: Top 10 Klatt's Mock Draft: Late 1st round Marcus Spears: Cowboys Needs on Draft Day Could Bridgewater Make Scouts Look Foolish? NFL Draft: Will Manziel Be Off The Board By Pick No. 4? Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes Race to avoid Premier League relegation heats up The many faces of Mike Woodson Draft Preview: Ego Ferguson Chelsea, Atletico set to do battle in Champions League With The Twelfth Pick, The New York Giants Select... Rosenthal: Trout's contract was a compromise Trail Blazers battle back, overcome Rockets in OT Martinez slams home run to help Tigers top Angels With The Thirteenth Pick, The St. Louis Rams Select... Knicks Fire Mike Woodson Dramatic Moments of the Week: 4/14-4/20