There’s a movement going on in Major League Baseball. Every year, athletic youngsters are becoming the leaders of their respective teams, and the Minnesota Twins seem to have found their future: Byron Buxton. The centerfielder is the number one prospect in all of baseball according to many scouting sites and it’s easy to see why. He’s got it all: crazy speed, underrated power, a cannon for an arm, and rare defensive skills. It’s also easy to see that he is ready to bust out in a big way in 2016.
Let’s get to know more about the 22-year-old speedster:
EASTBAY: What is the biggest difference between playing in the minors and the majors?
BUXTON: “The biggest difference is how laid back as it is. You expect it to be a lot harder but it’s really the same game. You’ve just got to go out there, relax, have fun, and play your game. Everything else will fall into place.”
EASTBAY: In your major league debut, you had a great game. What are the nerves like in that moment when you first come up to the plate?
BUXTON: “I was very nervous. I was finally making my dream come true. You really just want to get up there and try not to fail. After my first at bat, I relaxed a lot and had better at bats.”
EASTBAY: What do you work on in order to stay fast?
BUXTON: “I absolutely work hard to keep my speed. I get up and run a few miles every morning at about 5:00 just to stay in shape.”
EASTBAY: How does the UA Yard cleat help make you a more successful outfielder?
BUXTON: “I feel like I fly with the Yard cleats. They are so light and they can handle the quick cuts that I make. They also gave me the ankle support I need when I make quick adjustments in the outfield.”
EASTBAY: Do you have any superstitions?
BUXTON: “My biggest superstition is putting on and strapping my left batting glove first. I also always tap the outside of the plate before my at-bat. Finally, I always say a prayer when I’m on defense before the inning starts.”
EASTBAY: What role did your parents have in your baseball career?
BUXTON: “Both my parents put me through school and let me do what I wanted as long as I did my school work. I’m just very blessed and thankful for that. I talk to them every day and they tell me not to worry and to stay focused. I’m just glad I’ve got that support system behind me.”
EASTBAY: What is the ultimate goal for your career?
BUXTON: “The ultimate goal for my career is to help us win a World Series ring one day. Really, that’s the biggest goal of mine. Anything else is a plus.”