We’ve known for a while that Wichita will field the Marlins Triple-A Pacific Coast League team starting in 2020.
The development brings to an end the Marlins association with New Orleans after 11 seasons. They were known as the Zephyrs for the first eight seasons as a Marlins affiliate, and took on the moniker “Baby Cakes” in 2017 for the last three years.
The brand new Wichita Wind Surge will begin play on April 9th, in a road matchup against the Houston Astros PCL team, the Round Rock Express. After the two clubs play five times, the Wind Surge will open their brand new stadium on April 14th against the Memphis Redbirds, appropriately the St. Louis Cardinals PCL affiliate.
Wichita’s current affair is a current of air. The Wind Surge have blown into town. In 2020, after a 12-season absence, Minor League Baseball is returning to Kansas’ largest city. – Benjamin Hill, on MILB.COM
There was a lot of blowback initially on the naming of the team, including Wichita native Kirstie Alley:
The ballpark, in Wichita proper, is still under construction, and can be viewed in real-time (in 15 minute increments) here.
What can the denizens of Wichita expect to see for their first taste of affiliated baseball in over a decade? During the offseason, major league baseball’s and their affiliate’s rosters are in a state of flux, because even they are not really sure where everyone is going to land. The Wind Surge’s roster is currently comprised of catcher Julian Leon, shortstop Eddy Alvarez, and pitchers Parker Bugg, Brett Graves, Dylan Lee, Kolton Mahoney, Cody Poteet, Josh Roeder, and Tyler Stevens. Sure, nine players is enough for a game, and although all these players are fine, I wouldn’t want to see Poteet in center field.
More from Minors
In addition to those nine, any number of invitees to major league camp who don’t make the cut could wind up with the Surge, provided they don’t refuse assignment in order to pursue other opportunities. Some of those players include Christian Lopes, Gosuke Katoh, Brian Navarreto, Josh A. Smith, Aaron Northcraft, and Ryan Lavarnway. It’s also likely that up-and-coming prospects Sixto Sanchez, Jesus Sanchez, Jazz Chisholm, Monte Harrison, Edward Cabrera, Braxton Garrett, and Trevor Rogers make stops in Wichita.
Whatever the case, Wichita residents can share in the excitement as the Marlins continue to build the organization through minor league depth. As the last step of a lot of prospects prior to getting to the majors, Wichita will get an early look at the fireworks on their way to Miami.