Minor League Roundup: Buxton’s Bad Year

Today’s roundup features a bad year for Byron Buxton taking a turn for the worse, Chicago players attempting to rebuild and a former basketball player choosing the right sport.

Bad Year For Buxton
An injury-plagued season for Byron Buxton took a frightening turn when the game’s top prospect was concussed in an outfield collision in his first game at Double-A New Britain. According to BA alum Mike Berardino, Buxton was unconscious on the field for 10 minutes before being taken to a hospital, along with right fielder Mike Kvasnicka, with whom he collided. Twins general manager Terry Ryan, who was in New Britain, Conn., told reporters, “It could have been a lot worse. That was very scary.”

Buxton took to Twitter on Thursday to reassure fans about his health.

International League • AAA

Matt Davidson, 3b, Charlotte (White Sox). Acquired from the third-base heavy Diamondbacks in the offseason for Addison Reed, the White Sox thought Davidson would come in and take the major league job by the throat. Instead, he struggled and has continued to do so at Triple-A. What he still has is big power and he slugged his 19th homer Wednesday night at Syracuse, continuing a strong August to date. Davidson’s power is not simply a product of Charlotte’s new, homer-happy park. He’s hit nine homers on the road and has hit better overall away from BB&T Ballpark.

Pacific Coast League • AAA

Mike Olt, 1b, Iowa (Cubs). Another player who struggled making contact—in his case in the majors—Olt has rebuilt his confidence with a Triple-A stay. Olt, who did hit 12 homers in 187 at-bats with the Cubs, hit his sixth with Iowa in 85 at-bats and is slashing .329/.374/.635 as he tries to rebuild his value, either with the Cubs or another organization.

Eastern League • AA

Steven MoyaSteven Moya, of, Erie (Tigers). Moya is inching closer to joining the growing 30-homer minor league club. The 22-year-old Puerto Rican blasted his 29th homer, giving him 91 RBIs, on Wednesday night. Both figures lead the Eastern League by a wide margin. As expected with a player 6-foot-6, he has a large strike zone that pitchers can exploit and he doesn’t help his cause by being so aggressive, leading to 137 whiffs.

Southern League • AA

Brandon Drury, 3b, Mobile (Diamondbacks). In the span of less than a year, Drury saw Matt Davidson and Martin Prado traded and also saw Jake Lamb promoted to the Diamondbacks. The glut of third basemen might frustrate some, but Drury—traded by the Braves with Prado for Justin Upton—has continued hitting, slugging his 23rd homer overall and fourth since his bump to Mobile. Overall, Drury is at .300/.365/.535.

Texas League • AA

Colin MorinColin Moran, 3b, Corpus Christi (Astros). Dogged for a lack of power for a corner infielder, Moran hit his second homer Wednesday since his July 31 trade to the Astros. The former UNC star is 13-for-43 since joining Corpus Christi, with three doubles and two homers. Houston was interested in drafting Moran No. 1 overall in 2013 and the Astros must be pleased with the development seen so far.

Florida State League • Hi A

Eric Jagielo, 3b, Tampa (Yankees). Another 2013 first-round pick trying to move past mixed reports is Jagielo, who’s been hampered by injury this season. But the lefty-swinging Notre Dame product has produced when healthy, belting his 15th homer Wednesday at Tampa and 17th overall (he hit two in the GCL while rehabbing). At 22, Jagielo is a polished bat with a good approach and projects to produce above-average power.

Carolina League • Hi A

Sean Manaea, lhp, Wilmington (Royals). To paraphrase Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein, “Hip? What hip?” That’s what the Royals must be saying after Manaea—who fell to the 34th pick in 2013 because of a pre-draft hip issue—dominated Frederick 4-0 in the first complete game of his pro career. The lefthander gave up two hits and a walk over seven innings in the first game of a doubleheader. Manaea has pitched well over his past 10 starts, going 3-3, 1.83, averaging a strikeout per inning with his low 90s fastball that has deception and late life.

California League • Hi A

gaby-guerrero-2013-pgGabby Guerrero, rf, High Desert (Mariners). Vlad’s nephew continued a very solid season at high Class A, rapping out three hits, including his 25th double. He’s done a much better job of getting to his power in games with 13 homers, although he’s struck out 112 times against 28 walks. Like Uncle Vlad, plate discipline likely will never be a strong suit.

Midwest League • Lo A

Amir Garrett, lhp, Dayton (Reds). Garrett, who as J.J. Cooper reported decided to give up basketball for baseball, looks like he made the right choice. The 6-foot-5 lefthander dominated Lake County Wednesday night, pitching a complete-game, seven-inning, three-hitter, walking only one and striking out 12. Garrett sits at 92-94 mph, touching 96 and he pairs it with a slider that flashes plus on a more consistent basis.

South Atlantic League • Lo A

Willians Astudillo (Photo by Mike Janes).Willians Astudillo, lf, Lakewood (Phillies). The squat Astudillo might not have a set position, but he can hit. With BA staffers on hand, Astudillo was 4-for-4, all singles, and walked, in a 7-5 loss to Greensboro. Signed out of Venezuela in 2008, the 22-year-old doesn’t have much power, but he is nigh impossible to whiff, fanning just 39 times in 1,097 at-bats across five seasons. One evaluator said he was agile for his listed size of 5-foot-8, 185 pounds who can make consistent, hard contact with occasional power.