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Buxton #2 in MLB Draft
Monday, 04 June 2012

June 4--  SCORE, The High School Sports Newsletter, reports on the MLB drafting of Appling County High School star Byron Buxton.

Twins take Buxton, Braves snag Sims      

Photo of Byron Buxton
courtesy of Janet Patton

 

It has been an incredible eight days for Appling County's Byron Buxton. Last Wednesday, he was honored as the Gatorade Georgia Player of the Year. Thursday he struck out a season-high 18 Pierce County batters to help Appling County win Game 3 of the Class AA championship series. Last night, Buxton was selected No. 2 overall in the first round of the MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins.

 

Buxton was one of four players with Georgia ties taken in the first 47 picks of the draft as the Atlanta Braves selected Brookwood's Lucas Sims at No. 21 and St. Louis grabbed Wesleyan grad James Ramsey out of Florida State. Oakland took Parkview's Matt Olson, the 2011 Gatorade Georgia Player of the Year with a compensatory first-round pick at No. 47.

 

Several analysts on the MLB Network, which aired the draft, gushed over "the Georgia legend" Buxton. The talking heads praised his "high ceiling," noted that his bat "will play," and remarked that he "has a feel for the game."

 

Former Major Leaguer Harold Reynolds was perhaps the most excited about the Buxton selection. Reynolds opined that Buxton reminds him of Torii Hunter, Eric Davis and Mike Cameron.

 

"The thing I love the most about Byron Buxton is his work ethic," said Reynolds. "The Twins needed somebody to get their fans excited about the future. He's it."

 

The Braves selected Sims with the No. 21 pick and the analysts of the MLB Network kept referring to Sims as a shortstop who just recently took up pitching. Peter Gammons did step in and boast that Sims "has a really high ceiling as a starter."

 

The Braves' Director of Scouting Tony DeMacio released a statement after the pick.

 

"We are happy to be able to draft a Georgia boy, especially one from our backyard who is a great athlete with a great arm and great make-up," said DeMacio. "We are looking forward to getting him into the fold as soon as possible. We think we have a top of the rotation type of player."

 

In a package on MLB Network, Sims said he grew up watching John Smoltz pitch.

 

Florida State's James Ramsey was taken by the Cardinals after hitting .385 with 13 home runs and 55 RBIs in his senior season. Ramsey is 6-foot, 190 pounds.

 

Parkview's Olson was the final Georgian taken in the "first round."

"For us, one of the best high school bats in the country - just a very skilled hitter with strength, and the power's going to come as he gets bigger and stronger," said Oakland scouting director Eric Kubota of Olson on MLB.com. "We feel good about his bat. We saw him hit home runs off two first-round pitchers this year."

 


 

 

 

 
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