— by Brendan Yee
Quite possibly the best high school position player in the country, Byron Buxton of Appling County High School in Baxley, Georgia, has an extraordinary set of tools. At 6’2”, 175 lb, he has the size what scouts would call “projectable”, meaning he has the height and weight to add some size as he progresses through college or in professional baseball. As a center fielder, he is able to cover a sizable chunk of ground with his speed and long strides. His speed from home to first has been timed at around 4.0 seconds. His arm is good enough that it will allow him to play right field, if the club that selects him chooses to do so. His swing looks good, having a straight inside path to the ball. He swings the bat with ease, with ball seeming to jump off his bat. There doesn’t seem to be a hole in his swing, very simple and compact.
Right off the bat, the player he projects to be like Austin Jackson or BJ Upton at his current size and tools. If he is able to add weight and his power tool continues to improve, it is not outside the realm of possibility to compare him to the other Upton brother, Justin. He is one of the most impressive prospects available in this year’s draft, from both college and high school. His tools are quite raw but there are teams out there who will take flyer and hope he projects to what all scouts hope to find, a true 5-tool player. He is currently committed to the University of Georgia to QB the football team, but a top 10 selection could sway his decision to baseball. Take a look at the video, his home run derby swings at Wrigley Field are pretty amazing