Trip Preview: Day 2

As some of you know, Jordan and I will be embarking on our crazy trip next week. We will drive over 1,900 miles in the pursuit of whatever it is we are pursuing. We shall chronicle all our adventures on the blog and on the new podcast we plan to start on the trip. In anticipation of these shenanigans, this week I’ll be previewing each of our stops along the way. Hope you enjoy.

Monday, July 8th

Start Point: Somewhere near Toledo

End Point: Somewhere near Clinton, Iowa

Approximate Milage: 386 Miles

Driving Time: 6 Hours and 2 Minutes

Baseball Stuff: Cedar Rapids Kernels @ Clinton Lumberkings

  • Prospects: Gaby Guerrero, Tyler Pike, Victor Sanchez, Guillermo Pimentel, Niko Goodrum, Jose Berrios, Adam Brett Walker, Max Kepler.

Notes: We missed Buxton by 2 weeks. It was the reason we were driving all the way to Iowa. We were downtrodden and heartbroken. It was the end of the world. There are still a mess of prospects to catch in Clinton however, our favorite of whom being the Twins’ German outfielder Kepler. Born and raised in the motherland, Kepler is a crazy athlete who has a chance to be the first German born outfielder to make the major leagues. The Lumberkings boast Gaby Guerrero, Vlads just-as-free-swinging nephew. After the game we will drive an hour north towards our next day’s destination: The Field Of Dreams.

Buxton Watch: The End of Buxton Watch

Welp, that didn’t take long. Yesterday, after going 2-5 with his tenth triple of the year, Byron Buxton, who clearly doesn’t care about our prospect viewing needs at all, was promoted to High-A Fort Myers. Twins GM Terry Ryan was apparently in attendance for the entirety of this past weekend’s series, and he liked what he saw. This won’t change our plan to see Cedar Rapids in Clinton, and there is still a plethora of talent on the two squads that we can’t wait to see. But the timing of this is just painful.

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Buxton Watch: 15 Days To Go

As some of you may know, Jake and I are going on a trip this summer. The beginning of that trip includes driving approximately 13 hours over two days on a magical quest to see Twins uber-prospect Byron Buxton play against the Clinton LumberKings in Clinton, Iowa on Monday, July 8th.There’s one problem: Buxton is way way way too good for the Midwest League. Through 67 games, Buxton is triple-slashing .34o/.429/.555. He’s also stolen 32 bases, drawn 43 walks and scored 67 runs. He’s too good, and he should be promoted.

Last week was the Midwest League All-Star break. It was assumed by most prospect enthusiasts that Buxton would be promoted to High-A Fort Myers after the break. By some miracle (see what I did there (they’re the Fort Myers Miracle)), Buxton remains in Cedar Rapids. Since the break, Buxton is 3-12 with three walks and three stolen bases. Last night, he hit his ninth triple of the year.

After his non-promotion, Twins assistant GM Rob Antony said “it won’t be long” before Buxton is bumped up.

Basically, as much as we love Buxton demoralizing Low-A competition, we’re desperately hoping that he remains at the level for three more weeks before heading off to the Florida State League. If he gets promoted, we’ll see be able to see guys like Max Kepler, Gabriel Guerrero, and such at Clinton, but the experience of seeing Buxton in person is something that could not be topped.

So I’m gonna be posting a daily update of what Buxton did the night before. Let’s cross our fingers for a sudden slump. The Buxton Watch begins.

15 Days To Go.