Red Wing's Ty Buck attracts notice

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Red Wing junior Ty Buck is the top-rated baseball recruit in Minnesota for the class of 2015.

With one swing, Ty Buck recently announced himself to the baseball world as Red Wing's next elite baseball prospect. For insiders, however, it served as a not-so-subtle reminder to continue sending scouts to the city of 16,000 located on the Mississippi River.

"He's sort of the secret that no one knows about in Minnesota," said Chicago White Sox associate scout Adam Barta, who coached Buck with the Minnesota Blizzard two years ago.

In Buck's first at-bat during a showcase hosted Aug. 9 at Target Field, the 6-foot-2 junior crushed a fastball from a University of North Carolina recruit over the fence. Three days later, Buck was the lone Minnesotan to participate at the invite-only Perfect Game Underclass All-American Games in San Diego, Calif.

"I just want to keep working hard," Buck said of his approach to increased attention. "I don't really feel any pressure. I just like to go out there and play the game."

Another Wingers star


The infielder/pitcher is currently rated as Minnesota's top prospect in the Class of 2015 by Baseball America and Perfect Game USA, two of the top scouting services in the world. He's following in the footsteps of 2011 Red Wing grad Pat Kelly and 2013 Winger grad Ryan Boldt, who are both enrolled at Nebraska.

"Red Wing has a pretty good pedigree in putting out special players and Ty Buck is no exception," said Barta, who lives in Roseville. "Buck has the potential to be a bigger star than those guys, but time will tell."

It's unclear where Buck's future lies on the diamond, but it's easy to see why Barta and other scouts have become enamored with his skills.

As a midseason varsity call-up in 2012, Buck flashed huge potential while being called upon in key situations. He allowed just one run on three hits with 22 strikeouts over 17 2/3 innings as a freshman, recording the final out of the Section One title game against John Marshall to help Red Wing reach the state tournament for the first time since 1977. In his sophomore campaign, Buck gave up six runs on 12 hits in 22 2/3 innings. He struck out 26, but also walked 21.

Earlier this week, Buck struck out two while working a perfect frame in California against the nation's top prospects.

"Now he's on a level playing field," Barta said. "In Minnesota, he stands head and shoulders above everyone else. Ty Buck hasn't floundered."

Can pitch and hit

The 215-pound right-hander sits in the high 80s with his fastball, while touching the low 90s on occasion. An effective change-up keeps hitters off balance, but Buck said he's worked this summer to refine his curve, which he struggled to locate last spring.


Despite that success, Buck said he prefers to have the bat in his hands. He hit .429 as a sophomore, with 18 RBI and a slugging percentage of .643. He's most comfortable at third base and shortstop, but has played some outfield.

Buck was named high honorable mention for Perfect Game's 2013 Underclass All-American list, labeling him an "interesting two-way talent."

With an older sister, Tesha, playing Division I basketball and a father, Rich, who's a three-time member of the USA National Softball team, Buck's athletic success is hardly a surprise. Many believe it's only a matter of time before the scholarship offers start rolling in.

The University of South Carolina, a baseball powerhouse that won the national title in 2010 and 2011, wanted him to take an unofficial visit last winter, but it conflicted with basketball season. Nebraska has also shown interest.

"I haven't really talked to many colleges because I feel I should wait until they can call me," Buck said, noting next summer is when recruiting will begin in earnest, per NCAA rules.

Barta calls Buck a pro prospect with "serious tools," but expressed shock that he's yet to receive any offers.

"He's got a bright future, wherever he ends up," Barta said.

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