Twins 2012 first-round pick Byron Buxton, who is playing at Class A Cedar Rapids, entered Saturday at or near the top in most offensive statistical categories in the Midwest League: a .400 batting average, .524 on-base percentage and .662 slugging percentage. The 19-year-old from Georgia, who was selected No. 2 overall last summer, also led the league in runs scored (19) and was tied for third in RBI (16) and walks (16).
Meanwhile, as for some former Twins, shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka is back playing with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan, the team he played with for eight seasons before coming to the major leagues in 2011. He is playing well in his first year back in Japan. Through 22 games he was hitting .341 with 11 runs scored, 10 RBI and four stolen bases.
Delmon Young recently began a rehab assignment for Philadelphia following microfracture surgery on his ankle. The Phillies are concerned about his ability to play the outfield on a regular basis; he was mostly a designated hitter with Detroit in 2012. General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said: “If he can’t play defense, he can’t play in the National League. He’s going to have to be adequate out there.”
• Former Vikings coach Brad Childress has finally been announced as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff with a title of “spread game analyst/special projects coach.” So Childress is reunited with Andy Reid, whom Childress worked under in Philadelphia from 1999 to 2005.
• Eric Hartzell, the former Quinnipiac goalie and White Bear Lake standout, suited up for his first professional game on Monday after signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hartzell was the backup for Tomas Vokoun.
• Sports Illustrated compiled a list of outstanding NFL players drafted in the fourth round or later. Among the noted players who prospered, former Vikings center Matt Birk was a sixth-round pick and Vikings defensive end Jared Allen was a fourth-rounder.
• The Howard Pulley 73 basketball team that is touring the country has three players on its nine-man squad who have received offers from the Gophers: Tyus Jones of Apple Valley
and Reid Travis and Jarvis Johnson of DeLaSalle.
• Gophers tight end Maxx Williams, who was redshirted last season, is the son of Brian Williams, who played center for the Gophers and then with the New York Giants from 1989 to ’99. His mother, Rochele, is a former Gophers volleyball player. Maxx’s uncle Ron Goetz was a Gophers linebacker drafted by the Vikings in 1990, and his grandfather Robert was a quarterback at Notre Dame and was drafted by the Bears in 1959.
• Greg Jennings, the new Vikings wideout who the team hopes will be a mentor to first-round draft pick Cordarrelle Patterson, was selected by the Packers in 2006 after a draft-day trade with the Patriots, just like Patterson. New England gave its second- and third-round picks to Green Bay to move up 16 spots in the second round and take receiver Chad Jackson.