Buxton named Topps Minor League Player of the Year

Byron Buxton heads back to the dugout between innings of a Cedar Rapids Kernels game earlier this season.

Byron Buxton heads back to the dugout between innings of a Cedar Rapids Kernels game earlier this year. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Minnesota Twins prospect Byron Buxton was announced today as the winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, which goes to the Topps Minor League Player of the Year.

Buxton played the first half of the season with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He hit .341 with 8 HR, 55 RBI and 32 SB in 68 Midwest League games before being promoted to the High-A Fort Myers Miracle. In 57 Florida State League games, he hit .326 with 4 HR, 22 RBI and 23 SB. Overall in 2013, he batted .334 with 12 HR, 77 RBI and 55 SB. He also led Minor League Baseball with 18 triples and ranked second with 109 runs.

In late August, Buxton was named the Midwest League’s Most Valuable Player and Prospect of the Year.

In other Twins news today, Hall-of-Famer Paul Molitor was added to the major-league team’s coaching staff. According to the team, the former Midwest Leaguer will oversee baserunning, bunting, infield instruction and positioning, and assist manager Ron Gardenhire with in-game strategy from the dugout.

Molitor is one of only six players in MLB history with at least 3,000 hits and 500 stolen bases, and he also is one of only six Hall-of-Fame players who are Midwest League alumni. He played 64 games with the 1977 Burlington Bees, hitting .346 with 8 HR and 50 RBI. The Bees won the Midwest League championship title that season.

Molitor also made a rehab appearance with the Beloit Brewers in 1990. He went 2-for-4 with a solo home run.

Paul Molitor signs autographs for fans after speaking at the Burlington Bees winter banquet in January 2012.

Paul Molitor signs autographs for fans after speaking at the Burlington Bees winter banquet in January 2012. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

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This entry was posted in Baseball Hall of Fame, Beloit Snappers, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Florida State League, Fort Myers Miracle, Midwest League. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Buxton named Topps Minor League Player of the Year

  1. Did you get Molitor’s autograph, Craig? Apologies if we discussed this around the time you were at the banquet.
    Malcolm

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