Minnesota Twins AAA affiliate Rochester Red Wings season wrap up

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 31: Zack Granite /
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 31: Zack Granite /

The minor league regular season finished on Labor Day, and only one Minnesota Twins affiliate missed the playoffs. Sadly, that was the Rochester Red Wings.

The Minnesota Twins have seen their minor league teams this year rate as the top team in many of their affiliate levels, and only the Rochester Red Wings missed the playoffs out of all of their affiliates.

The Red Wings finished the season 80-62, tied with Lehigh Valley for the wild card spot in the International League playoffs, but they lost out on tiebreakers to Lehigh Valley, which ended the Red Wings season.

Let’s take a look at a few of the standout players this season:



The Red Wings finished 3rd in the IL in hitting, with a team batting average of .261, however the team really didn’t rank in the top 3 in any other major statistic at a team level other than lack of strikeouts, finishing with 1,009 as a team, which was the 3rd lowest number in the league.

Some of the best individual performances:

  • Zack Granite bounced back and forth between the big league club and Rochester quite a bit, but his big performance in Rochester earned that initial call, and his final numbers were quite good, going .338/.392/.475 with 16 doubles, 4 triples, 5 home runs, and 15 stolen bases in 71 games.
  • Infielder Leonardo Reginatto missed significant time due to back issues, but when he was on the field, he was hitting, going .303/.369/.390 with 15 doubles and 3 home runs.
  • Matt Hague has been a bit of a journeyman minor leaguer, but he once again led the International League in hits, his fourth time doing such, as he collected 149 hits on the season. Overall, he hit .297/.373/.416 with 30 doubles, 10 home runs, and 8 stolen bases.
  • Catcher Mitch Garver established himself as one of top hitting catching prospects in baseball, and 2017 was no different, as he hit .291/.387/.541 with 29 doubles and 17 home runs in 88 games.
  • Utiltyman Niko Goodrum used his athletic build to put together a solid season that earned him a major league call up. Goodrum hit .265/.309/.425 with 25 doubles, 5 triples, 13 home runs, and 11 stolen bases.
  • Injuries and frequent call ups to the big leagues left Daniel Palka and Kennys Vargas unable to truly accumulate big numbers for Rochester this season. Palka went .274/.329/.431 with 13 doubles, 3 triples, and 11 home runs over 84 games. Vargas hit .253/.360/.461 with 8 doubles and 9 home runs over 51 games.

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Rochester pitching finished third in the league in ERA and WHIP both. Rochester also allowed the least walks in the league by a fairly decent amount, with 350 walks allowed in 142 games. The next closest team allowed 382. The Twins also allowed the least home runs in the IL with just 34 allowed as a team.

Some of the best individual performances:

  • Aaron Slegers had a legit argument to be on the end of season awards team for the International League with the big season he had. Slegers went 15-4, throwing 148 1/3 innings with a 3.40 ERA, 1.23 WHIP,
    and a 29/119 WHIP.
  • David Hurlbut was the second leading work man in innings for the Red Wings, with 130 2/3 innings, posting a 3.44 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, and a 30/103 BB/K ratio.
  • After a big start to the season, lefty Nik Turley had an impressive time with the Red Wings, making 18 appearances, 10 of them starts, throwing 67 2/3 innings, allowing a 2.66 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and a 22/79 BB/K ratio.
  • Picked up essentially off the scrap heap, Tim Melville made 11 appearances (10 starts) with Rochester, going 66 2/3 innings with a 2.70 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 23/64 BB/K ratio.
  • Before they were called to the big leagues, Alan Busenitz (1.78 ERA), John Curtiss (1.85), and Trevor Hildenberger (2.05) all showed well in the Rochester bullpen.
  • Spending most of the year in Rochester, Michael Tonkin put up a 1.73 ERA with a 13/61 BB/K over 41 2/3 innings. Drew Rucinski was a consistent member of the bullpen, posting a 2.57 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and a 10/57 BB/K ratio.
  • Alex Wimmers continued his renaissance as a reliever, making 34 appearances, winning 7 games, saving 7 games, posting a 3.23 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and a 11/48 BB/K ratio over 47 1/3 innings.

Next: Twins Chances in Playoffs as Wild Card

While it could be disappointing to finish the season the way they did, it should not take away from the fact that the Red Wings cleared 80 wins, which is a big deal, and it is the second season in a row that the Red Wings won 80+.