The Swing first baseman has made numerous stops on his way to professional baseball, one of which was two-years at the University of Nebraska where he was teammates with 2005 College Player of the Year, and Kansas City Royal, Alex Gordon. Playing with such a talented player can certainly have its benefits, and having the opportunity to see Gordon prepare each day has helped Buckman in his first full season in pro ball.
"He just came out every single day with a plan," Buckman explained. "When things weren't going well for him, he was doing the same thing every day, working on the same stuff. At the end of the year, the results were there for him."
The quick start this season does not appear to be a fluke. Buckman was an all-star with Johnson City of the Appalachian League last summer, carrying a .300 average with eight home runs and 34 RBI through 62 games, but his fielding also was strong, evidenced by a .989 fielding percentage.
Playing on an every day basis can have its drawbacks mentally, but Buckman has remained focused in every game this season, and continues to work on driving the ball both in the game and in the cage.
"It's easy, especially in batting practice, to hit home runs, but my key is to work on going the other way and not pulling off the ball," he said. "Every day I try to work on that and it translates well to the games. The only thing you can do is keep the same level of emotion each day—keep the same approach. It's a long season so you have to keep doing the same things."
Currently Buckman boasts a .333 average, nine home runs, 36 RBI and 88 total bases in just 36 games for the Swing.