Georgia signee Byron Buxton was drafted early in the first round of Monday’s MLB First-Year Player Draft, but the Bulldogs made it out of the first day otherwise unscathed.
Buxton -- who went second overall to the Minnesota Twins -- was the only Georgia player or signee who was selected in Monday’s first round and supplemental selections, comprising the draft’s first 60 picks.
Signees Joe DeCarlo, Duane Underwood and Kyle Carter and All-SEC Georgia pitcher Alex Wood -- among others -- will wait until the draft resumes Tuesday at noon ET to hear their names called.
Buxton, DeCarlo, Underwood and Carter are among seven Georgia signees -- along with Sean McLaughlin, David Gonzalez and J.T. Phillips -- who rank among Baseball America’s top 500 draft prospects. Wood, Bulldogs shortstop Kyle Farmer and All-SEC third baseman Curt Powell are also among the players who expect to hear their names called before the draft ends on Wednesday.
Buxton, meanwhile, went early just as expected. Surrounded by hundreds of family and friends at a school in his hometown, Baxley, Ga., Buxton celebrated calmly when his name was called.
"It was one of the best feelings I've ever had," Buxton said during a conference call. "I'm just blessed that the Minnesota Twins drafted me. I'm just ready to go play and have fun."
The outfielder -- who batted .523 with 31 RBIs and 36 stolen bases, while going 10-0 on the mound in leading Appling County to a state championship -- has five-tool ability that clearly excited scouts.
“I think he’s got a good feel for the game and that’s going to help him move along, maybe not as slowly as some of those raw, toolsy high school types,” MLB Network analyst Jonathan Mayo said after Buxton’s selection.
Twins have until 5 p.m. ET on July 13 to sign Buxton, although he gave every indication he will accept the multimillion-dollar signing bonus to join the Twins organization. The Bulldogs will have a better chance to keep some of the other signees, with the likelihood typically growing the later the signees are selected.
Buxton became the first high school player the Twins selected in the first round since they picked outfielder Ben Revere -- also a Georgia signee -- 28th overall in 2007. Revere signed with the Twins after the draft instead of attending college.