Prospect Notes: Twins prospects Byron Buxton, Nate Roberts return healthy to Fort Myers outfield

Byron Buxton - Brace Hemmelgarn, Getty Images

Minnesota Twins outfield prospect Byron Buxton has missed almost the entire 2014 season with wrist problems, but he's back in action now and played yesterday for High-A Fort Myers. He didn't play the whole game as the Twins are easing him in slowly. He went 0-for-2 and is just 3-for-22 in the six games he's managed to play this year, which means exactly nothing given the circumstances.

Scouts still love him and this is reflected in the fact that he's still rated as the Number One prospect on Baseball America's mid-season Top 50 prospects list.

One player who you will not see on a top prospect list is Twins outfielder Nate Roberts, one of Buxton's teammates at Fort Myers. A fifth round pick in 2010 out of High Point University, Roberts missed almost all of 2013 with a knee injury. He also missed half of 2012 and half of 2011 with injuries. When healthy he's always hit though, with a career .308/.441/.462 line and a career wRC+ of 167 in 190 games.

Roberts got some attention as a sleeper prospect when he hit a stunning .446/.565/.662 in 19 games in the Arizona Fall League in 2012, but missing the '13 season knocked him back into obscurity. He's back on the field now and hitting .333/.487/.553 in his first 10 games. A left-handed hitter with sound strike zone judgment, he's old for the level at age 25, but the injuries are the main factor in his delayed career. He showed some speed before getting hurt, stealing 27 bases in 76 games in '12, but we'll have to see if the knee troubles have impacted his baserunning and defense.

It will be interesting to see how aggressive the Twins are with him if he remains this hot and if his body doesn't give out again. He has nothing to prove in A-ball beyond working the rust off.


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