Byron Buxton, possible No. 1 pick as a hitter, struck out 18 as a pitcher to win state title

13 Comments

Georgia high school center fielder Byron Buxton will be one of the top five picks in Monday’s draft and might go No. 1 overall because of his five-tool skill set that includes spectacular speed and a high-upside bat.

Oh, and a great arm too.

Buxton’s team made the Georgia state championship series and they turned to him as a pitcher in the decisive final game yesterday. And boy did he deliver, racking up 18 strikeouts in seven innings for a complete-game victory.

He can spend the weekend celebrating, become famous Monday night, and then get started on negotiating a $5 million-plus contract. Not a bad week for the 18-year-old.

Video: J.D. Martinez hits league-tying 23rd home run

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
Getty Images
1 Comment

The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.

In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.

The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.