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Thursday, July 07, 2011

Buxton Breaks Out

Todd Gold        
Photo: Todd Gold
MARIETTA, GA-- Appling County High School (GA) has an enrollment of 941 students. One of them, Byron Buxton, has become the focal point amongst scouts in attendance at the 2011 18u WWBA National Championship. The number of players participating in the 196 team field far exceeds that of the entire student body at Buxton's high school.

Based on the turnout of MLB scouts each time Buxton and his teammates from Roundtrip Baseball take the field, he may be the one player generating the most buzz in a large field of highly talented players from all over the country. The attention is well deserved, as the secret is out: the kid from a small town in south Georgia has big time upside.

A two-sport star at Appling County (where he is also a talented Quarterback), Buxton is a talented two way player on the baseball diamond. Having impressed on the mound during the 18u WWBA, Buxton features a fastball that has been up to 94 mph this week.  Buxton compiled an impressive line of: 9 innings pitched, 7 hits, 3 runs allowed, 1 base on balls, 13 strikeouts, a win (CG in playoff opener) and 2 saves. Perhaps most impressive about his success on the mound: most scouts (and Buxton himself) see him as an outfielder.

At the plate, he impresses with lightning quick hands with good balance and timing. His long athletic frame portends for increased power as he matures physically. Impressive as his other four tools are; his elite speed separates him from other top prospects. Perfect Game scouts have clocked Buxton's home-to-first time anywhere from 3.96 seconds to 4.12. Times that grade out at 80 on the 20-80 scale from the right handed box.

Buxton has committed to the University of Georgia to play his college ball. Though with the upside he possesses it seems that whichever MLB organization selects him in the 2012 draft will make a substantial offer to try and persuade him from ever setting foot on campus.


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