St. Petersburg, FL - Minor League Baseball™ and the Topps Company announced today that outfielder Byron Buxton, the second overall pick in the June 2012 Draft by the Minnesota Twins, is the winner of the 54th annual J.G. Taylor Spink Award as the Topps/Minor League Player of the Year. Buxton finished among the top 12 MiLB™ players in six offensive categories, including a Minor League best 18 triples. His 109 runs ranked second.
The 19-year-old center fielder from Baxley, Ga., joins Mike Trout (2010), Delmon Young (2005) and Andruw Jones (1996) among those who have won the award as teenagers.
"I am proud and honored to receive this award from the Topps Company," Buxton said. "I hope I can follow in the footsteps of the talented list of past winners and reach my ultimate goal of playing for the Minnesota Twins."
Buxton split his season between the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the Midwest League and the Fort Myers Miracle in the Florida State League, hitting a combined .334 with 12 homers and 77 RBI.
He hit .341 with 55 RBI, 68 runs and 32 stolen bases in 68 games for the Kernels, before being promoted to Fort Myers. Buxton was named a midseason and postseason all-star, Most Valuable Player and Prospect of the Year in the Midwest League.
In 57 games with the Miracle, he hit .326 with 41 runs and 23 stolen bases.
In addition to his triples and runs, Buxton ranked among the top 12 full season players in batting average (6th), on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) (tied for 6th, .944), hits (10th, 163) and stolen bases (12th, 55).
Other recent Spink winners include Wil Myers (2012) and Matt Moore (2011) of the Tampa Bay Rays and Buster Posey (2009) of the San Francisco Giants.
2014 Kernels season ticket packages are on sale now at the stadium by calling the Kernels at (319) 363-3887. Individual game tickets go on sale Monday, March 10th at 10 am. The Kernels open the 2014 Midwest League season at home at 6:35 pm against Clinton on Thursday, April 3rd.