The Minnesota Twins have several promising prospects in their farm system. However, none come with as much promise and potential as Byron Buxton. The second overall pick in the 2012 draft, he entered the 2015 season as the number one prospect according to MLB.com and behind only Kris Bryant on Baseball America's list. Now that he has had a taste of the bigs, rookie cards are going to follow later in 2015. For now, there are plenty of Byron Buxton prospect cards to choose from.
Buxton's first cards came out in the weeks and months following the 2012 MLB Draft. This includes several autographs from Panini and Leaf. The first Byron Buxton cards featuring the outfielder in a Twins uniform came in 2013. He was a key part of most of Topps' 2013 Bowman products with several autographs and low-numbered inserts.
Buxton's skill set includes a good bat, lots of speed and a slick glove. Should he fulfill his promise, or simply come close to it, Buxton could emerge as one of baseball's most well-rounded stars.
There is some risk, though. Buxton lost most of the 2014 season due to a concussion and a pair of wrist injuries. All should heal, but the pattern of getting hurt could raise a few flags.
Below is a look at many of the top Byron Buxton cards available now ahead of him landing a spot on the Minnesota Twins roster. While some may not be the most valuable, they all carry some importance. We've also focused on base versions rather than strictly rare parallels.
Key Byron Buxton Prospect Cards
The following highlights many of the key Byron Buxton cards released before his MLB debut.
Click on the links or images to shop for specific cards or check current market values on eBay.
A couple things make this card notable. First, it's the first Byron Buxton card released in a MLB product. What's more intriguing is the signature and its origins. Signed at the high school all-star game, it's a much neater autograph than the ones that would follow. Each letter is legible. Players at the event were given cards as well. Spotting pack-inserted, and guaranteed authentic, versions is easy though. They're numbered to 233 on the front. Ones gifted to players and handed out at the event are not.
Usually, Leaf Metal Draft is an alternative to Bowman Chrome. While the Byron Buxton is in some ways, it came out the year before Topps included the outfielder in their flagship prospect line. Like Bowman Chrome, it's signed on-card and comes with several color-base parallels. Not licensed, it's significantly cheaper than Buxton's first Bowman autographs despite releasing much earlier.
This is another reasonably priced alternative from Leaf. It has a cleaner design in the sense that it doesn't rely on fancy card stock. Rather, it's a more traditional white look with foil accents.
2012 Leaf Valiant draws its inspiration from Donruss Crusades inserts of the late 1990s. Colorful and regal, they have a Refractor-like finish to go with the regal look and on-card signature.
Byron Buxton is featured on several cards in 2012 Panini Elite Extra Edition. It has a couple of things that his 2013 Bowman cards don't. First, it's from 2012 making it an earlier card. It's also serial numbered, something that only Bowman Chrome Refractors come with. However, the lack of MLB uniform keeps prices significantly lower.
The paper 2013 Bowman Byron Buxton Prospect Autograph may not carry the same prestige as his Bowman Chrome card, but it's actually significantly tougher to find. Only available in retail packs, it also uses a sticker for the signature, which also hurts its appeal.
Not all of Byron Buxton's first cards come with autographs. The 2013 Bowman Chrome Prospects card, which is actually included in 2013 Bowman, is affordable and looks a little flashier than its paper Bowman counterpart. The numerous Refractors add a chase element to the card, especially for those who prefer rarity over signatures.
As far as widely available Byron Buxton cards go, his 2013 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autograph is his most popular. It's like a modern day rookie card of sorts. It's hard-signed and widely turned over. Like the unsigned version, there are lots of colorful Refractors to keep things interesting for high-end card collectors.
2013 Bowman Inception marked the debut of the brand. While it kept the prospect focus of other Bowman sets, it came with more autographs per box than regular Bowman and a much more stylized look. Although well received by collectors, Buxton's card is cheaper than his Chrome autograph.
Like Inception, the 2013 Bowman Platinum Byron Buxton autograph is a little more affordable. All versions are done as Refractors, which add a little more flash.
Expect to pay a little bit more for Buxton's unsigned 2013 Bowman Sterling card versus his Bowman Chrome card and other basic inserts. This is strictly because of supply. Sterling comes with more autographs than base cards. Combine that with a high price point of the product and the result is that not a ton are on the secondary market at any given time.
If you want an early Byron Buxton MLB autograph, 2013 Bowman Sterling is a solid choice. Because Sterling signed cards are so plentiful and it was released after several other autographs were already out there, prices are somewhat softer.