Twins send Buxton to Minor League camp

Ailing Sano, Meyer, May, Vargas, Kepler also among those re-assigned

Byron Buxton was among the Minor League leaders in triples, runs scored, OPS and hits last year. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

By Daren Smith / | March 9, 2014 7:20 PM ET

A day after he hit his first Grapefruit League home run, top prospect Byron Buxton on Sunday was among 16 players sent to Minor League camp by the Minnesota Twins.

Also re-assigned were Twins No. 2 prospect Miguel Sano, who is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery on Wednesday, No. 3 prospect Alex Meyer, fellow right-hander Trevor May, first baseman Kennys Vargas and outfielder Max Kepler.

A non-roster invitee to Spring Training, Buxton went 3-for-19 in seven Grapefruit League games. On Saturday, he drilled a two-run homer off Blue Jays right-hander Drew Hutchison for his second extra-base hit of the spring.

The 20-year-old outfielder was anointed baseball's top overall prospect by after a 2013 season in which he batted .334 with 12 homers, 19 triples, 18 doubles, 77 RBIs, 55 stolen bases and 109 runs scored in 125 games across two Minor League levels.

Despite playing only 68 games for Class A Cedar Rapids, Buxton was named Midwest League MVP and Prospect of the Year. He went on to earn Minor League Player of the Year honors from Topps and Baseball America and is expected to begin this season with Double-A New Britain.

"They need to get down and get their at-bats and get settled in with their teams," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony told "We need to get more playing time, more at-bats and innings for the players who are going to make this [Major League] team."

Sano had been ranked fourth overall among's Top 100 Prospects but aggravated an elbow injury during an intrasquad game and is expected to miss most -- if not all -- of the season.

Meyer, ranked 28th overall, made just one Grapefruit League appearance and gave up two runs -- one earned -- on four hits in two innings. Selected 23rd overall in the 2011 Draft, the 6-foot-7 right-hander was limited to 13 starts with New Britain last year due to a shoulder strain but went 4-3 with a 3.21 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 70 innings.

Meyer got some advice from Twins manager Ron Gardenhire before leaving big league camp and heading, presumably, to Triple-A Rochester.

"Big leaguers hit fastballs. They're going to hit it," Gardenhire told "You've got to use everything. You've got to be able to change speeds, slow it down a little bit and use that breaking ball to get them off the fastball."

Antony added, "It really doesn't matter they're in the first round of cuts because two years ago, Scott Diamond was in our first round of cuts and he was the first guy we called up when we needed somebody."

Daren Smith is an editor for This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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