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Who’s the Top Twins Prospect? Alex Kirilloff vs. Royce Lewis

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 07:49 AM
Many teams would be ecstatic to have the likes of Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis headlining their farm system. For Twins fans, a debate c...
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LeVelle E Neal III to Become a Columnist For Strib

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:08 AM
I looked and didn’t see this on Twinsdaily. Like a great baseball writer before him (Reusse), LaVelle E Neal III is being promoted from...
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Could Dobnak be an All Star?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:44 PM
 Could Dobnak be an all star? With this terrific infield, I believe he could be. When Donaldson was in the line up Dobnak shine...
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FA Value Shopping

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:37 PM
Just for fun-here is 1 player at each position that might be worth the money and my contract estimates:   C- Sandy Leon 1 year/1.5 m...
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Is Cruz a MUST signing? And what if he doesn't fit?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 06:01 PM
Let me state I love Cruz and want him back if possible. I not only believe he brings class, experience, knowledge and leadership to the t...
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Twins-Saints Merger is a Match Made in Heaven, On and Off the Field

The St. Paul Saints are now the official Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins and if you’re to believe franchise president Dave St. Peter and executive vice president Derek Falvey at their word, the pairing was all about improving player development and driving competitive success.
Image courtesy of © Jesse Johnson | 2020 Sep 29
“Since moving to Minnesota in 1961, I think player development has been the heartbeat of the Twins franchise,” St. Peter told reporters during Wednesday’s press conference announcing the move. “Thinking back over six decades of Twins’ baseball there hasn’t been a single successful team that we’ve had that wasn’t really largely fueled by players that were ultimately products of our farm system. And with that reality in mind, I think today’s news of an enhanced player development model is absolutely central to our future success.”

“We are uniquely positioned now as a major league franchise to have our two highest levels of play within a few short miles of one another and we view that as a competitive advantage,” Falvey said. “As something as, in this game when you’re seeking every possible competitive advantage in scouting, in development, in player selection, in performance, this is something that we feel is going to be a significant benefit to our club.”

While there is undoubtedly a large element of truth in those statements - the Twins will now be able to have a fully functional “taxi squad” for a second season in a row, something most other MLB teams will not have access to due to geographical limitations - it also can’t be ignored that the Minny and Paul Merger allows for the Twins to develop the Twin Cities into a Midwestern baseball Mecca, a factor that likely played into the decision as well.

A select few MLB teams have their Triple-A affiliate in close proximity - though not all teams have officially announced their respective Triple-A teams and all are longer than the 13 miles between the two Minnesota stadiums - and it is safe to say that none have the same cachet as Target Field and CHS Field.

Both fields are considered to be crown jewels in their respective leagues and, in the case of CHS Field, provide a fan experience that is unique and Saints’ owner Marvin Goldklang stated that ticket prices - which begin as low as $5 - will not be changing. These factors are the primary reason behind why the Saints are able to draw in crowd sizes that are practically unrivaled, even by Triple-A standards.

According to the official press release, “Since [the Saints moved] to their current home, located in the historic Lowertown District of St. Paul, the club has drawn 2,028,402 fans over five full seasons (2015-19), leading the American Association in each of those years. They have been over 100% capacity 15 times, including a combined 112% capacity in the first five full seasons at CHS Field. In 2019, the Saints led all of Minor League Baseball in percent capacity, were eighth in average attendance (topped only by seven Triple-A teams), and 26th in overall attendance.”

The ability to watch top prospects such as Royce Lewis, Jordan Balazovic, and Trevor Larnach in person and on a near daily basis will surely draw even more fans to lowertown St. Paul. This will allow fans to become even more familiar with the Twins’ stars of tomorrow, which, in turn, will likely have a ripple effect on the overall attendance numbers at Target Field - and the franchise’s bottom line.

This line of logic applies to the Saints as well. Combining their state-of-the-art field and fan experience with the Twins’ top prospects will likely drive attendance above the 112% capacity number cited previously - once fans are allowed to go to games uninhibited - and will drive revenue skyward.

In essence, this pairing was a no-brainer for all parties involved. The ability to create a competitive advantage by pairing with the Saints was undoubtedly an enticing proposition for the Twins - and one that ultimately proved too good to turn down - but at the end of the day, baseball is a business and businesses are driven by the bottom line. Not only will the merger with the Saints make the Twins a better baseball team around the margins, it also will have a significant impact on their margins of profit as well.

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11 Comments

I agree it is a fantastic situation to have both so close to each other. Plus fans have easy access to see future Twins stars. I hope it doesn't ruin what make the Saints the Saints though. Going to a Saints game was one of the best baseball experiences you could find. High quality baseball at a reasonable price with a fun atmosphere. While it "could" mean increased attendance for the Saints because they are associated with the Twins, I believe it is more of a positive for the Twins than it is for the Saints. The Twins will have easy access to their players. The Saints already pulled in a ton of fans. They have had many a big name player on their roster over the years. They always put on an entertaining game. I hope this association doesn't make it so the average fan will not be able to see the Saints play ball.

I think there must be a media portion offered to the Saint that peaked there interest. Weather it is radio broadcasts (Polads own some radio stations in town) or possibly a FSnorth partnership.

Going to a AAA game would typically mean you're watching guys that end up in the majors across the country that have little to do with your home state team (if you're fortunate enough to have one).Now we have it one COUNTY away.We are now spoiled and this will no doubt have a very positive affect on ticket sales.Just PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't jack up ticket prices in any way.I know they say they won't this season, but trust doesn't run too deep with MLB owners.Cheap seats and concessions is what helps makes the minors, "the minors".

    • DocBauer and Nine of twelve like this
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Nine of twelve
Dec 13 2020 09:22 PM

 

I agree it is a fantastic situation to have both so close to each other. Plus fans have easy access to see future Twins stars. I hope it doesn't ruin what make the Saints the Saints though. Going to a Saints game was one of the best baseball experiences you could find. High quality baseball at a reasonable price with a fun atmosphere. While it "could" mean increased attendance for the Saints because they are associated with the Twins, I believe it is more of a positive for the Twins than it is for the Saints. The Twins will have easy access to their players. The Saints already pulled in a ton of fans. They have had many a big name player on their roster over the years. They always put on an entertaining game. I hope this association doesn't make it so the average fan will not be able to see the Saints play ball.

Edited for accuracy.

    • VOMG likes this

Wasn't there an issue with the size of CHS stadium? That it didn't have enough seats to qualify? Maybe I am misremembering. The mimimum requirement of AAA staduims is 10,000, and CHS's is only 7210. Was there a waiver issued? Does it have to be expanded?

    • DocBauer and VOMG like this
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Major League Ready
Dec 14 2020 10:51 AM

 

Wasn't there an issue with the size of CHS stadium? That it didn't have enough seats to qualify? Maybe I am misremembering. The mimimum requirement of AAA staduims is 10,000, and CHS's is only 7210. Was there a waiver issued? Does it have to be expanded?

 

I did not know of this rule. Got a feeling it's going to be 10,000 in the not to distant future. They probably agreed to raise capacity by a given date as part of the MLB Affiliation agreement.

So who came up with the $20 million for the franchise fee? Hopefully the Twins covered it 100%.

    • jrod23 likes this
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Nine of twelve
Dec 14 2020 08:00 PM

 

So who came up with the $20 million for the franchise fee? Hopefully the Twins covered it 100%.

As long as the source of the fee was agreed to by both parties it doesn't matter to me.

Wasn't there an issue with the size of CHS stadium? That it didn't have enough seats to qualify? Maybe I am misremembering. The mimimum requirement of AAA staduims is 10,000, and CHS's is only 7210. Was there a waiver issued? Does it have to be expanded?


Please don't refer to me as an expert on this, but I do believe there is a minimum seating requirement. However, not only is the current stadium ripe for expsnsion...or so I've heard...but the actual attendance of games actually surpasses many other AAA franchises. Thought I heard on Gleeman and the Geek recently that ticket sales last year, possibly each of the last two, actually exceeded capacity. In other words, a lot of standing room only or grass seats.

So I think that was taken in to consideration. It's one thing to have seats, but quite another to fill them.

Hoping this new partnership will mirror Omaha and K.C. who have had a great relationship going back something like 40-50yrs!

Does anyone have information regarding the length of the AA Wichita deal? They are a good baseball town for decades now, including being home to a quality and distinguished college team. But they have always been unique in regard to location as they sit with a couple of hours of about 7 or 8 franchises. And I know they had concrete plans to be a AAA franchise with their new park. Marlins I believe. And I'm sure they are disappointed, to some degree at least, with their AA affiliation with the Twins. But as I recall, they have been entirely or mostly AA for years now. Could they end up embracing their affiliation with the Twins?

I guess we'll see what happens.
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Nine of twelve
Dec 15 2020 05:45 AM

 

They are a good baseball town for decades now, including being home to a quality and distinguished college team.

I disagree about distinguished. Read item number 7.

 

https://bleacherrepo...aseball-history

 

As long as the source of the fee was agreed to by both parties it doesn't matter to me.

I think the Saints were doing quite well on their own. To me it wouldn't make sense for them to put up $20M