For the second straight season, Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton is the No. 1 ranked prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com’s official rankings .  The announcement was made during a live special which aired on MLB Network on Friday night. Chicago Cubs slugger Kris Bryant,  who was named baseball’s No. 1 prospect by ESPN analyst Keith Law , was ranked No. 2. The top five also featured a trio of shortstops, which goes as follows: Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros, Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians, and another Cubs farmhand, Addison Russell.   Despite an injury plagued season that limited him to just 31 games and a disappointing .234/.307/.395 slash line, Buxton was able to hold off the hard charging group in the eyes of MLB.com’s staff. Though as senior writer Jim Callis noted, the difference between Buxton and Bryant was barely noticeable.  Could argue either for No. 1, Correa too @Jaypers413 : how close was it between Bryant & Buxton? Coin flip? #mlbpipeline @Twins @Cubs @Astros — Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) January 31, 2015 Everything is taken into account when these rankings are formulated, including health and durability. With that in mind, Buxton’s five-tool skill set is what sets him apart. He’s even drawn comparisons to reigning AL MVP Mike Trout, who ranked No. 1 on this list in 2010. . Seriously, here’s hoping the injuries in 2014 were just a one-year setback and not a sign of things to come. We want Buxton around for awhile.  [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today! ] In more good news for the Twins, their farm system ranked No. 1 in MLB.com’s prospect points standings, which assigns points to each team based on where their prospects finished. For example, Buxton earned 100 points as the No. 1 prospect. Bryant earned the Cubs 99 points as No. 2, and so on the down line. Both Minnesota and Chicago finished with six prospects in the top 100, but Minnesota’s earned 464 points compared to 424.   For what it’s worth, the Pittsburgh Pirates had the most overall players in the top 100 with seven.  Among the other notable items:

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on January 31st, 2015
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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on January 29th, 2015
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With the hope of a new season also comes renewed excitement about the future of baseball and those who could become the game’s next household names. That will be the focus of MLB Network this Friday night when they air a one-hour special revealing MLB.com’s Top 50 prospects for the 2015 season. MLB.com’s annual ranking of the best young prospects in baseball will be revealed on Top 50 Prospects on MLB Network and simulcast on MLB.com this Friday, January 30 at 9:00 p.m. ET. Using information from scouting directors, professional scouts and industry sources, the complete list, which includes the top 100 prospects, is based on a combination of factors to evaluate a player’s potential, from physical skills and tools to statistical track record. To qualify for the list, a prospect must have rookie status for the 2015 season. That eliminates a player like Javier Baez, who broke the 130 at-bat threshold in 2014 despite only joining the Chicago Cubs in August. With that guideline in mind, here are a couple things to ponder going in that will undoubtedly become the source of debates following the announcement.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on January 29th, 2015
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Today we’ll check in on the top 50 relievers from 2014 and finish with some stolen base projections.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on January 28th, 2015
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The Minnesota Twins have agreed to terms with left-hander Brian Duensing on a $2.7 million, one-year deal to avoid arbitration. The Twins announced the deal on Saturday. It also allowed the Twins to reach deals with all six of their arbitration-eligible players without going to a hearing. He has been with the Twins all six of his years and asked for a raise from $2 million to $3.1 million.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on January 25th, 2015
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Trevor Plouffe is coming off of a season in which he led the Minnesota Twins in RBIs and signed a $4.8 million, one-year contract that made him the highest-paid third baseman in franchise history. Put those two things together and the 28-year-old Plouffe would appear to be on firm footing heading into his sixth season in the big leagues. I want to win the AL Central,” Plouffe said as the Twins opened their annual fan festival.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on January 24th, 2015
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The fast track Byron Buxton has been on to the majors with the Minnesota Twins hit a huge speed bump last season. Ranked by Baseball America magazine as the top prospect in the game when the year began, Buxton sprained his left wrist in March during spring training. Buxton was back in July and promoted in August, but he got hurt again in his first game with Double-A New Britain in a scary collision with a teammate. To top it all off, Buxton broke a finger on his left hand after 13 games in the instructional Arizona Fall League in October.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on January 24th, 2015
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Four players have been suspended 50 games each for violating the minor league drug program, three for a second positive test for a drug of abuse and another for failing a test for an amphetamine. Right-handers Hudson Boyd of Minnesota, Duke von Schamann of Cleveland, and Chris Capper, a free agent, all were sanctioned Thursday for a second failed test for a drug of abuse. Boyd is on the roster of Class-A Cedar Rapids of the Midwest League and Von Schamann is with Double-A Akron of the Eastern League.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on January 23rd, 2015
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Today we’ll get ready for the 2015 MLB season with a team-by-team bullpen audit.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on January 21st, 2015
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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on January 19th, 2015
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