MINNEAPOLIS -- What do young Minor Leaguers like to do with down time? Go to the mall, of course. In Minneapolis, they have the chance to check out the mall: Mall of America.
Twins prospects Alex Meyer, Jose Berrios and Kennys Vargas, all of whom were named to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, came on Friday to what they hope will be their home for a long big league career. All-Star Sunday (5 p.m. ET, MLB Network, MLB.com, MLB Network Radio XM 89) is the big day where they'll get to show their stuff in front of an appreciative home crowd.
"It's a really big honor," said Vargas, echoing what each of the trio felt about being able to play at Target Field.
While Sunday will be about competition, Friday was just about cruising the mall. Meyer, Berrios and Vargas, who are currently ranked Nos. 3, 5 and 15 on the Twins' Top 20 Prospects list, grabbed lunch at the Rainforest Cafe after arriving in the Twin Cities.
After lunch, they got a tour of some of the expansive mall, including the indoor amusement park. Mall of America spokesperson Sarah Schmidt told the players about how the mall is connected to baseball. The original Metropolitan Stadium, the one-time home of the Twins, was located where the mall now stands. She pointed out a seat from the ballpark hanging from a wall in the amusement park area, right next to a big banner for Harmon Killebrew.
On the other side of the amusement park is a home plate plaque, some 520 feet away from the seat. Vargas was the only hitter in the group, and there was spirited conversation over whether he could reach the seat from home plate -- though the roller coasters might have gotten in the way.
From the Mall, the prospects headed to All-Star FanFest, where Berrios had an autograph signing. Meyer and Vargas joined MLB.com on its set to talk about the Futures Game. They were able to enjoy some of the FanFest activities before calling it a day, giving them plenty of time to rest up and be ready for Sunday's festivities.