Its been widely reported now, although I believe LEN3 was the originator, that the Twins will be officially announcing their affiliates this week. We pretty much already knew Saint Paul was joining affiliated baseball as their Triple-A affiliate. Joining the Saints in the Twins organization will be the Wichita Wind Surge, formerly a PCL team. As their other full-season affiliates are not changing (merely flip-flopping classifications,) the 2021 farm system will look like
- Triple-A Saint Paul
- Double-A Wichita (KS)
- High-A Cedar Rapids
- Low-A Fort Myers
- Rookie GCL Twins
Wichita will be stepping back from Triple-A to Double-A, which is a better fate than the Fresno Grizzlies are facing. With both those teams leaving the Pacific Coast League, its likely that the Saints will join the poorly-named western Triple-A league, that stretches as far east as Memphis, Indianapolis, and Iowa. In fact, the Iowa Cubs seem to be a natural rival for the Saints, but we will have to wait-and-see there.
As for Wichita, they will be competing in the Texas League. This league is also a slight misnomer, as it also contains teams based out of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. The Double-A affiliate will be a long daytrip down I-35 from the Twin Cities, as you can do it in around nine hours. Even better, its a flight of less-than two hours. Meanwhile, Google says its 17 minutes on I-94 from CHS Field to Target Field, allowing for some absolute last-minute call-ups if the Twins and Saints are both playing at home.
Add Cedar Rapids, IA as the High-A affiliate, and as many have observed, the Twins farm system creates a wonderful long-weekend roadtrip for prospect hounds. From the Twins Cities, Cedar Rapids is only around four hours, and Wichita is around seven hours from the High-A squad.
What are your thoughts on the 2021 Twins’ affiliates?