MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Twins have selected outfielder Byron Buxton with the second pick in this year's draft.
Buxton is from Appling County High School in rural Georgia, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound speedster the Twins have targeted since last summer. MLB Network's camera at Buxton's gathering of family and friends showed the 19-year-old's eyes watering while the group cheered and waved.
Houston chose shortstop Carlos Correa first, a high schooler from Puerto Rico. Stanford pitcher Mark Appel was widely predicted to be taken by the Astros, but Twins scouting director Deron Johnson said Buxton was the team's preference all along.
Buxton, a First-Team Rawlings Preseason All-American, hit .513 with 17 doubles, three home runs, 35 rbi and 38 stolen bases during his senior season. On the mound, Buxton was 10-1 with five saves and 154 strikeouts in 81.0 innings pitched. In the deciding game of the Georgia Class AA State Championship Series on Thursday, Buxton struck out 18 batters in 7.0 innings.
After the selection of Buxton, the Twins picked right-handed pitcher Jose Berrios out of Papa Juan XXIII High School in Puerto Rico with the 32nd overall selection. Berrios participated in the 2011 Under Armour All-American Game.
With their final selection on day one the ballclub selected right-handed pitcher Luke Bard of Georgia Tech University with the 42nd overall selection. Bard was 1-0-2, 0.99 (27.1 ip, 3 er) with 20 hits, six walks and 26 strikeouts in 11 appearances (3 starts) for the Yellow Jackets this season. Bard is the younger brother of Boston Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard.
The Twins had three of Monday's first 42 picks, including compensatory selections for losing outfielders Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel as free agents.
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