Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He has been a Star Tribune sports columnist since 1988. His sportswriting credo is twofold: 1. God will provide an angle; 2. The smaller the ball, the better the writing.


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Vikings not alone in celebrating future Thursday

Posted by: Patrick Reusse Updated: April 26, 2013 - 5:45 PM

The Vikings organization was celebrating the future on Thursday night, when General Manager Rick Spielman landed three first-rounders, on picks 23 through 29: defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.

There was some unhappiness in Vikingville when Percy Harvin, the dynamic receiver and kick returner, was traded to Seattle, but that went away for the Purple Faithful when Floyd fell to No. 23 and Patterson became available at No. 29 through a trade with New England.

This was the second time in 53 drafts that the Vikings wound up with three first-rounders. The other came in 1967, when General Manager Jim Finks had three picks in the top 15. He went for Michigan State running back Clinton Jones (2), Spartans wide receiver Gene Washington (8) and Notre Dame defensive tackle Alan Page (15).

There was considerable unhappiness in Vikingville when quarterback Fran Tarkenton was traded to the Giants, but when Finks came up with this dynamic draft that dissipated. And in 1968, when a pick acquired from the Giants was used to draft offensive tackle Ron Yary as the first overall selection, we had forgotten about Sir Francis.

(Note: We did get excited when he returned after the 1971 season).

In a much quieter way, there was another organization celebrating its future on Thursday. This would be the Twins ... while the big club was losing 2-1, there were happenings on the farm that had to be intriguing even for the critics.

At Class AA New Britain, Alex Meyer, the 6-foot-9, 23-year-old righthander acquired for Denard Span, was working six innings, allowing one run and striking out seven. That put his ERA at 1.64 and continued the track that should put him in the Twins' rotation at the start of next season.

At Class A Fort Myers, third baseman Miguel Sano hit his eighth home run and upped his RBI total to 20 in 20 games for the Miracle. He's batting .377. Sano will turn 20 on May 11 and there isn't a deal in the world the Twins would make to include Sano.

Eddie Rosario, 21, is the second baseman at Fort Myers. He had three more hits to raise his average to .357. Doug Mientkiewicz, the Fort Myers manager, said last week in a radio interview that he expects Rosario to be the Twins' second baseman at the start of the 2014 season.

The Miracle also received a two-inning save from Corey Williams, the left-handed side of a partnership with Zach Jones at the end of the bullpen. Both could be in the Twins bullpen some time in 2014.

At Class A Cedar Rapids, 19-year-old center fielder Byron Buxton went 3-for-5 with two doubles, his third home run and five RBI. He's the No. 2 overall draft choice from 2012. Buxton has shown so much at the start of his first full pro season that he's now put in the same category as a hitting prospect as Sano.

Adam Walker, 21, another outfielder and a power-hitting prospect, also homered for the Kernels. Buxton and Walker both have 15 RBIs in 18 games.

Thursday: Great night for future of Vikings, splashed under the headline, "VIKINGS RULE THE DAY,'' on page 1C of the Star Tribune.

Thursday: Great night for the future of the Twins, with details found at the top of the scoreboard on page 9C.

 

 

 

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