After dealing with wrist problems for nearly three months, Byron Buxton has finally moved up to Class AA New Britain.
Buxton's promotion was reported last night after Buxton homered and drove in three runs for Class A Advanced Fort Myers in a 4-3 loss to Palm Beach.
It has been a less-than-ideal season for Buxton so far. After hitting .334 with 12 home runs and 55 stolen bases while playing with both Twins Class A affiliates last year, Buxton missed the first three months of Fort Myers season with a recurring wrist problem. He was sidelined again after being hit in the wrist by a pitch in mid-July.
The Twins original plan was to have Buxton begin this season in New Britain, but injuries changed that plan. In 30 games so far this season for Doug Mientkiewicz's squad, Buxton is batting .240 with four home runs and six stolen bases.
The Twins took Buxton with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 Major League Baseball draft. Buxton entered the season ranked as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball, according to Baseball America. He has managed to keep this ranking, despite the wrist injuries.
As Buxton makes his trip to New Britain, talk of Buxton's next promotion has already begun.
Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press writes that Buxton's debut with the Twins could come next month. New Britain has 22 games left in its season, and Berardino speculates that a couple of hot weeks for the 20-year-old could mean a chance to finish the season with the big league team.
A major league call up this season could spark some comparisons to a former Twins center fielder. Kirby Puckett played just 224 games in the minors before being called up by the Twins in May of 1984, managing to avoid a demotion during his time with the Twins. Buxton has played 203 games so far in the minors. If Buxton plays the rest of New Britain's games this season and is called up by the Twins (and is able to avoid being sent down), he will have played just one more minor league game in his career than Puckett.
Whether or not Buxton plays in the big leagues this season, he could play in the Arizona Fall League for the second consecutive year.
Buxton's debut could come tonight, as the Rock Cats take on the Bowie Baysox at 6:05 p.m.