2012 MLB Draft: Why Byron Buxton Will Be Breakout Star of 2012 Class

Steven SlivkaCorrespondent IIIJune 4, 2012

Standing at 6'2" and weighing 175 pounds, small-town Georgia teenager Byron Buxton's life is about to change after tonight's MLB draft.

The outfielder from Appling County High School (Baxley, Ga.) is going to be a name baseball fans will remember for quite some time.

Buxton's smooth, disciplined swing and his lightning-fast speed has him projected to be one of the top three picks in this year's MLB draft.

MLB.com ranked Buxton No.1 on their list of 2012 MLB prospects and, with Stanford RHP Mark Appel expected to be taken No. 1 overall by the Astros, the Minnesota Twins have the opportunity to snatch Buxton with the second overall pick.

He was named Gatorade's Baseball Player of the Year from the state of Georgia this past season, the first time a player from Appling County has ever won the award.

Buxton, who also pitched phenomenally in high school, carried a .513 batting average with three home runs and 31 RBI. He also proved to be dangerous on the basepaths, stealing 35 bases in 36 attempts, wreaking havoc on opposing pitchers trying to keep him in check.

If the Twins decide to draft him with the second overall pick, they will be getting a young, versatile outfielder who has the potential to be their most sensational outfielder since Torii Hunter roamed the warning tracks in Minnesota.

In a draft loaded with pitching, Buxton is the position player with the most to offer. He's fast, can hit for power and contact and can help rejuvenate a rebuilding franchise like the Twins into a contender in a weak AL Central.

His age poses a risk for any team looking to build their franchise around a teenage prospect, but with a few years to develop, Buxton's all-around talent makes him one of the most impressive prospects in this year's draft.

The No.1 prospect from ESPN 100 is sure to turn some heads with his speed on the paths and his cannon of an arm.

Buxton has already verbally committed to the University of Georgia to play for them next season, but being a top pick in the MLB draft could alter those plans in a second.

Besides Albert Amora, the outfielder from Mater Academy High School (Fla.), Buxton is the most enticing outfielder in the draft.

He has the size and the skills to become a superstar in MLB and will soon enough be with the names of Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg and Matt Kemp in terms of lethal, young talent.

If the Twins want to get their fan base excited about their young team in their brand new ballpark, then drafting Buxton is a must.

It will only be a few seasons until he will be in the majors and he is an asset a struggling Minnesota team can't live without.

The downside to Minnesota drafting Buxton is the fact that they are loaded with young outfielders in the minors, as well as their current roster.

The Twins drafted outfielders Ben Revere and Trevor Plouffe as first-rounders and the their starting rotation is so depleted that they very well could go with a starting pitcher in the first round.

Buxton has drawn comparisons to B.J. Upton and his smooth, disciplined swing at the plate impressed scouts at the Under Armour All-America baseball game at Wrigley Field in August 2011.

All Buxton needs to do is put some weight on his 6'2'' frame. If drafted by Minnesota, he has the potential to make the Twins more than just a cellar-dweller in the American League.