ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (October 22, 2013) - Minor League Baseball and Topps Company announced on Tuesday that Minnesota Twins top prospect and member of the 2013 Fort Myers Miracle, Byron Buxton, is the winner of the 54th annual J.G. Taylor Spinks Award as Topps/Minor League Player of the Year.
Buxton, 19, joins Mike Trout (2010), Delmon Young (2005) and Andruw Jones (1996) as the only teenagers to who have won the award.
"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."
The Baxley, Ga., native began the season with the Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels in the Midwest League and played in 68 games before being called up to Fort Myers. Buxton hit .341 with 15 doubles, 10 triples, eight homers and drove in 55 runs with 68 runs scored with the Kernels.
At the time of his call-up to the Miracle on June 26, Buxton was in the top five in the Midwest League in 11 offensive categories and had just represented the Kernels in the All-Star Game.
Buxton played in 57 games with the Miracle - 55 in center field - and hit .326 in 218 at-bats. He scored 41 runs and had four doubles, eight triples, four homers and knocked in 22 runs with Fort Myers.
Combined between Cedar Rapids and the Miracle, Buxton batted .334 and scored 109 runs in 125 games. He stole 55 bases in 74 attempts and totaled 19 doubles, 18 triples, 12 home runs and 77 RBI.
Buxton was named the top-rated prospect at the mid-season mark by both Baseball America and MLB.com, and he was also honored as the Most Valuable Player and Prospect of the Year in the Midwest League by Baseball America.
Buxton was rated as the fastest baserunner and Best Defensive Outfielder in the Florida State League as well as the Best Batting Prospect in the Midwest League and Most Exciting Player by Baseball America's 2013 Best Tools lists.
In August, Buxton hit .402 over 26 games with two doubles, three triples and 21 runs scored. Buxton stole 16 bases in 22 attempts and was named the Topp's Player of the Month.
"Byron is an extremely talented player who added a great deal of excitement to all our Miracle games," Miracle General Manager Andrew Seymour said. "Our fans enjoyed getting to know Byron as not just the top prospect in baseball, but also as a person. He was a treat to have around Hammond Stadium this season."
Buxton is currently one of seven Minnesota prospects playing in the Arizona Fall League with the Glendale Desert Dogs.
For more information on the Fort Myers Miracle, visit www.miraclebaseball.com or call 239-768-4210.