Minnesota Twins prospect Byron Buxton was so dominant in his 68 games with the Cedar Rapids Kernels this season, he was named the Midwest League Most Valuable Player and Prospect of the Year.
The 19-year-old outfielder hit .341 with 8 HR, 55 RBI and 32 SB for the Kernels. He also was impressive defensively in center field. (See some more photos I shot of Buxton in this post.)
Buxton earned legitimate comparisons to Los Angeles Angels OF Mike Trout, who was last year’s American League Rookie of the Year and runner-up in the AL MVP race. Trout also dominated the Midwest League, batting .362 with 6 HR, 39 RBI and 45 SB in 81 games to earn 2010 Midwest League MVP and Prospect of the Year honors. Probably helping fuel the comparisons is the fact that both Buxton and Trout played center field for the Kernels.
Joining Buxton on the 2013 Midwest League Postseason All-Star Team are Bowling Green Hot Rods C Luke Maile, Cedar Rapids Kernels 1B Dalton Hicks, West Michigan Whitecaps 2B Devon Travis, South Bend Silver Hawks 3B Brandon Drury, Quad Cities River Bandits SS Carlos Correa, Bowling Green Hot Rods OF Andrew Toles, Cedar Rapids Kernels OF Adam Brett Walker, Kane County Cougars DH Rock Shoulders, Bowling Green Hot Rods SP Dylan Floro, Clinton LumberKings SP Tyler Pike, South Bend Silver Hawks RP R.J. Hively, and Great Lakes Loons RP Geoff Brown.
Mark Haley was named Midwest League Manager of the Year after leading the South Bend Silver Hawks to the first-half Eastern Division title and the team’s first playoff berth since 2009. He has managed the Silver Hawks since the 2005 season and previously was named MWL Manager of the Year in 2005 and 2008. South Bend won the Midwest League championship in 2005.