MINNEAPOLIS — Byron Buxton’s 2014 minor league season is done, but it appears the Twins’ top prospect has more baseball ahead of him this offseason.
Buxton was one of six Twins players named to the club’s Arizona Fall League roster on Tuesday. He’s joined by outfielder/infielder Eddie Rosario, outfielder Max Kepler, and pitchers Jason Adam, Mason Melotakis and Taylor Rogers. They will play for the Salt River Rafters beginning Oct. 7. The Twins said an additional player will be added later.
The 20-year-old Buxton played in just 31 minor-league games this year after an early-season wrist injury delayed his season before it ever started. Then, in his first game with Double-A New Britain, Buxton suffered a concussion that ultimately ended his minor league season.
The hope now is that Buxton will be cleared by early October, in time to participate in the Arizona Fall League. Playing in the AFL would give Buxton some extra at-bats to help him make up for the time he lost this year due to injuries.
Rosario and Kepler both played in the AFL last offseason. In 20 games with the Glendale Desert Dogs, Rosario hit .238 (19-for-80) with seven RBI. The 22-year-old Rosario spent almost all of the 2014 season with Double-A New Britain, where he batted .237 with six home runs and 30 RBI in 71 games. Kepler played the entirety of 2014 with High-A Fort Myers and hit .257 with 53 RBI. He batted .234 in 18 games in the AFL last year.
Adam was acquired by the Twins this year from Kansas City in exchange for Josh Willingham. He’s pitched in just two games since joining Minnesota’s organization, making one start and one relief appearance for Double-A New Britain. Melotakis and Rogers were both draft picks of the Twins in 2012 in the second and 11th rounds, respectively.
The AFL season runs from Oct. 7 to Nov. 15. Along with players from the Twins, members of the Diamondbacks, Rockies, Astros and Marlins will comprise this year’s Salt River Rafters roster.