Minnesota Twins Minor League Teams Best In All of Baseball
The Minnesota Twins minor league system wins on Sunday moved them ahead in winning percentage as the best system in baseball in 2017
The Minnesota Twins have been working to develop their minor league system since seeing a load of graduations to the major league level in a big group roughly two years ago, starting with Eddie Rosario and continuing with Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Max Kepler, and Jorge Polanco, along with Jose Berrios on the pitching side.
The Twins have drafted very well in the last few drafts and received very high grades in their work in the Latin American market as well, helping to build up the farm system to the point where it will be common to see the Twins ranked in the top 10 among all of baseball’s farm systems in the offseason.
After the decisions of Sunday, the Minnesota Twins moved into first place among all minor league systems with a .595 winning percentage on the season, just a hair ahead of the New York Yankees, who own a .594 winning percentage across their system. As much as the wild card race will be fun to watch down to the end of the season, this race could be as well, and it will be over sooner!
The minor league season is over in 3 weeks (plus playoffs), so there is not much time left in the season, with the week of Labor Day being the last week of games for most leagues and their playoffs beginning soon afterward. Currently, every single Minnesota Twins minor league affiliate is in line for the playoffs if the season ended today.
AAA – Rochester Red Wings, 73-54 (.575) overall, 2nd in North division, 1st in Wild Card standings by 3 games
AA – Chattanooga Lookouts, 81-44 (.648) overall, 39-16 (.709) second half, 1st in North division, won North division first half to clinch playoffs already
high-A – Fort Myers Miracle, 70-54 (.565) overall, 37-19 (.661) second half, first in South division second half by 5 games
low-A – Cedar Rapids Kernels, 67-59 (.532) overall, 28-28 (.500) second half, clinched playoff through wild card in first half
advanced rookie – Elizabethton Twins, 34-23 (.596), first place in West division by 2.5 games
rookie – GCL Twins, 29-20 (.592), first place in South division by 4 games
foreign rookie – DSL Twins, 45-19 (.703), 1st place in South division by 6 games
In fact, it will be fun to watch as those teams who have not clinched their playoff spot come up on elimination dates. The DSL Twins have the lowest “magic number” currently at 2, so they’ll likely be celebrating first, but most of the rest of the teams that haven’t already clinched their spots have magic numbers of 7, 8, or 9.
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What does it mean?
First and foremost, let’s get this one out of the way. The primary reason for the existence of a minor league system is not to win games in the minor leagues. It is to develop players that can contribute to a winning club at the major league level. Having the better team does not ALWAYS translate into better record in the minor leagues. For instance, in the Southern League with the Lookouts is the Mississippi Braves. Depending on what service you trust, up to 9 players who have been a top 100 prospect in their minor league development at some point have played with the Mississippi team for at least a portion of the season, yet the M-Braves’ record is 50-73, tied for the worst record in the entire league.
So, to say winning or losing the game on the field is a predilection of the future success of the major league club in a 1:1 ratio is not true by any means, but there is absolutely truth in there being correlation to better records in the minor leagues across an entire system showing up as future success for the big league club.
Baseball America covered this with the Houston Astros before the 2016 season. If, for instance, the Chattanooga Lookouts, DSL Twins, and Fort Myers Miracle all come away with titles this season, that doesn’t automatically mean the Twins have an amazing farm system. However, there is evidence that this type of success helps to breed future success going forward as players develop an expectation and a drive for winning as an organization and even often “lesser” players as far as talent will emerge to reach their absolute ceiling more often in a winning system. It is fitting that in the table in the linked Baseball America article, the top ten teams in minor league system winning percentage from 2012-2015 constitute five of the current ten playoff teams, and three more are still “in contention” this season, meaning of the top 10 systems in organizational minor league record from 2012-2015, 8 are currently leading a playoff position or competing for one. That’s a pretty impressive corollary.
Next: Twins offseason free agent plan
Keep an eye here at Puckett’s Pond as we will be bringing you the minor league scores daily (along with a hitter and pitcher of the day every day) along with plenty of coverage of any action that may take place regarding league wins in the minor league system!