Marlins announce Minor League affiliates

December 9th, 2020

MIAMI -- The Marlins have spent the past few seasons constructing one of the top farm systems in the Majors. On Wednesday, the organization cleared up where those prospects will play.

Miami announced its four Minor League affiliates in anticipation of the 2021 season. Headlining the list is the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the Triple-A team. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos will be the Double-A affiliate, while the Beloit (Wis.) Snappers will become the Class A Advanced club. Rounding out the list are the Jupiter Hammerheads, now the Class A squad.

Pensacola and Beloit are new locations for the Marlins. And Beloit is the only affiliate not based in Florida.

“We are extremely excited to invite the great baseball communities in Jacksonville, Pensacola, Beloit and Jupiter to join our player development system,” Gary Denbo, the Marlins' vice president of player development and scouting, said in a statement. “As the Miami Marlins continue to build a championship organization, these outstanding baseball destinations will serve as home for our elite players and staff as they continue their rise up to the Major Leagues.”

The restructuring of Miami's farm system allows for easier travel for players at the Triple-A and Double-A levels to join the big league club, when needed.

The Blue Wahoos had previously been an affiliate of the Twins (2019-20). Prior to that, they were part of the Reds' system ('12-18).

“We are very excited to be invited to partner with the Miami Marlins,” Blue Wahoos owner Quint Studer said in a statement. “The Marlins franchise, fresh off a trip to the playoffs in 2020, boasts one of the top five Minor League farm systems in baseball. We look forward to completing the process to officially become an affiliate of the Marlins and to put an extremely talented, winning team in front of our fans at Blue Wahoos Stadium. Off the field, the Marlins share our commitment to diversity, inclusion and bettering the community, and we look forward to being great partners to them both at the ballpark and away from it.”

The Snappers move up to the Class A Advanced level after 39 years at the Class A level. They had been an affiliate of the A’s from 2013-20.

“We are thankful to receive the invitation to become a licensee of Major League Baseball and the Advanced-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins,” said Quint Studer also of Gateway Professional Baseball, managing partners of the Snappers, in a statement. “One year ago, the Beloit community made a decision to build a new downtown baseball stadium.

“Thanks to the support of the fans and the community for the stadium project, Beloit will be one of the 120 licensed Minor League teams in 2021 and beyond, have a great new partnership with the Miami Marlins and bring a higher level of competition and talent to Beloit fans by being moved up to the Advanced-A level.”

The invitation by the Marlins to Beloit coincides with the Snappers' upcoming move into a new multiuse stadium, which is scheduled to open next summer in downtown Beloit.

“We’re very excited for our relationship with the Miami Marlins and to continue to work with the Studer family,” Dennis Conerton, president of Beloit Professional Baseball, said. “Quint’s reputation as one of Minor League Baseball’s most successful owners precedes him, and he’s played an instrumental role in the stadium process and in securing an affiliate invitation for our team. After 20 years of hard work and many setbacks for Beloit Baseball, the progress of the last year has made it one of the most exciting years of my life.”

Jacksonville had been the Marlins’ Double-A team for the past 12 years, before being invited to become the Triple-A affiliate. The Jumbo Shrimp will replace the Wichita Wind Surge.

Wichita never played a game as an affiliate of the Marlins after the 2020 Minor League season was cancelled due to the pandemic. The Marlins' Triple-A team was previously based in New Orleans.

The Jupiter Hammerheads have been with the Marlins since 2002, playing their games at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, Miami’s Spring Training home.

“In addition to beginning a new relationship in Beloit, Wisconsin, we look forward to a well-deserved promotion to Triple-A for Jacksonville, welcoming an award-winning organization in Pensacola and remaining in Jupiter as we continue to build lifelong fans and expand the Marlins’ footprint throughout the state of Florida,” Denbo said.