Twins center field prospect Byron Buxton has a bat in his hands again, but he’s still several weeks away from returning to action.
The No. 1 prospect in the game sprained his wrist diving for a ball in the outfield in mid-March during spring training. He’s been on the high Class A Fort Myers disabled list since the minor league season began. According to Twins farm director Brad Steil, Buxton has begun doing some light swinging with a bat, but he’s still a couple of weeks away.
The Twins hope that Buxton will be able to play in an extended spring game by the end of April, but they caution that that is a preliminary plan that may be adjusted depending on how his wrist feels in the next couple of weeks.
Though the injury should have little or no impact on Buxton’s long-term future, it does make it tougher for him to repeat as the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year. No player has won back-to-back POY awards since Andruw Jones did it in 1995-96. Buxton was considered one of the favorites for this year’s award, but he will miss at least 20 percent of the season with the wrist injury.