List of Minnesota Twins minor league affiliates
The Minnesota Twins farm system
consists of seven Minor League Baseball
affiliates across the United States
and in the Dominican Republic
. Four teams are independently owned, while three—the Elizabethton Twins
, Gulf Coast League Twins
, and Dominican Summer League Twins
—are owned by the major league club.
The Twins have been affiliated with the Rookie League Elizabethton Twins
of the Appalachian League
since 1974, making it the longest-running active affiliation in the organization among teams not owned by the Twins. It is also the longest affiliation in the team's history. Their newest affiliate is the Pensacola Blue Wahoos
of the Southern League
which became the Twins' Double-A
club in 2019.
Geographically, Minnesota's closest domestic affiliate is the Cedar Rapids Kernels
of the Class A Midwest League
which is approximately 223 mi away. Minnesota's furthest domestic affiliates are the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels
of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League
and Gulf Coast League Twins of the Rookie Gulf Coast League
which share a facility some 1423 mi away.
The current structure of Minor League Baseball
has been in effect since the 1990 season when the Class A level was subdivided for a second time with the creation of Class A-Advanced. The Rookie level consists of domestic and foreign circuits.
The foundation of the minors' current structure was the result of a reorganization initiated by Major League Baseball
(MLB) before the 1963 season. The reduction from six classes to four (Triple-A, Double-AA, Class A, and Rookie) was a response to the general decline of the minors throughout the 1950s and early-1960s when leagues and teams folded due to shrinking attendance caused by baseball fans' preference for staying at home to watch MLB games on television. The only change made within the next 27 years was Class A being subdivided for the first time to form Class A Short Season in 1966.
The minors operated with six classes (Triple-A, Double-A, and Classes A, B, C, and D) from 1946 to 1962. The Pacific Coast League
(PCL) was reclassified from Triple-A to Open in 1952 due to the possibility of becoming a third major league. This arrangement ended following the 1957 season when the relocation of the National League
to the West Coast
killed any chance of the PCL being promoted. The 1963 reorganization resulted in the Eastern
and South Atlantic
Leagues being elevated from Class A to Double-A, five of seven Class D circuits plus the ones in B and C upgraded to A, and the Appalachian League
reclassified from D to Rookie.