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Twins and Pensacola Blue Wahoos announce two-year player development contract

The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have signed a two-year player development contract with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. This will be the first affiliation between the two teams.

"We are thrilled to sign a two-year player development contract with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos," said Director, Minor League Operations Jeremy Zoll. "Their owners and leadership team have a clear commitment to positively impacting the community in Pensacola, and we believe that the values of the Twins and Blue Wahoos could not be better aligned. We are looking forward to being true partners to Pensacola in both business and baseball operations and are excited for our Double-A players to have the opportunity to call the Pensacola community their home."

The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have signed a two-year player development contract with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. This will be the first affiliation between the two teams.

"We are thrilled to sign a two-year player development contract with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos," said Director, Minor League Operations Jeremy Zoll. "Their owners and leadership team have a clear commitment to positively impacting the community in Pensacola, and we believe that the values of the Twins and Blue Wahoos could not be better aligned. We are looking forward to being true partners to Pensacola in both business and baseball operations and are excited for our Double-A players to have the opportunity to call the Pensacola community their home."

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos spent the last 11 seasons as the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds (2009-2018). During their time as the Reds affiliate they won one Southern League title in 2017 and two division titles, 2016 and 2017. In 2016 the Blue Wahoos were the recipient of the Bob Freitas Award. This award is decided by Baseball America and is awarded to the best overall franchise among the affiliates at that level. Blue Wahoos Stadium was awarded the Best Double-A ballpark by Ballpark Digest in 2016, MiLB.com Best Seat in the House in 2015 and Ballparks.com Ballpark of the Year in 2012.

"We are thrilled to welcome the Minnesota Twins to Hoosville here in Pensacola to develop their top tier minor league talent in helping the Twins build a championship caliber team at the Major League level," said Blue Wahoos President Jonathan Griffith. "We are excited about the partnership with Jeremy Zoll and his team to cultivate a winning culture on and off the field between the two organizations."

The Twins have placed emphasis on development of homegrown talent including the likes of Joe Mauer, Kyle Gibson, José Berríos, Eddie Rosario, Jorge Polanco, Miguel Sanó, Max Kepler and Byron Buxton. Minnesota boasts one of the top Minor League systems in baseball, ranked as seventh overall by Baseball America and have four of the top 100 Minor League prospects, led by 2017 First-Round Draft pick Royce Lewis at number 10. Other ranked prospects include 2016 First-Round pick Alex Kirilloff (32), Brusdar Graterol (58) and Brent Rooker (96). The Twins had two affiliates take home championships in 2018. The Fort Myers Miracle won the Florida State League title and the Elizabethton Twins sat atop the Appalachian League.  

The Twins have had seven different previous Double-A affiliations in franchise history: Chattanooga (1946-1959, 2015-2018), New Britain (1997-2014), Hardware City (1995-1996), Nashville (1961, 1993-1994), Orlando (1973-1992), Charlotte (1963-1972), and Albany (1935-1936). 

Pensacola has been affiliated with six different organizations in team history: Cincinnati Reds (2009-2018), Florida Marlins (2003-2008), Colorado Rockies (1999-2002), Pittsburgh Pirates (1991-1998), Houston Astros (1970-1990), and Chicago White Sox (1959-1969). 

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