A look at how many future MLB players have played for Wichita Wind Surge in last 3 years

One of the appeals of bringing affiliated baseball back to Wichita was the opportunity to watch future big-leaguers play at Riverfront Stadium.

As the Wind Surge embark on their fourth season in downtown Wichita, the Double-A organization in the Minnesota Twins’ farm system has already produced its fair share of MLB talent.

A total of 28 players and two coaches who have spent time with the Wind Surge have reached the majors since the opening pitch at Riverfront Stadium in spring 2021. The Wind Surge (2-10) are currently hosting the Tulsa Drillers in a series that will conclude this weekend with games at 7 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

The most famous Wind Surge graduate, however, no longer plays for the Twins’ organization, as Spencer Steer was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in 2022. Steer was a breakout star in 2023, smashing 23 home runs with 86 RBIs and 74 runs scored; he is currently hitting .302 with three homers and 18 RBIs, good for third-most in the National League, as the Reds’ everyday left fielder this season.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who was involved in the same trade as Steer, has also become an everyday player for the Reds and is hitting .192 this season with two home runs and 12 RBIs at first base.

Yennier Cano, a 2021 Wind Surge graduate, has become a trusted reliever for the Baltimore Orioles. He recorded 31 holds and eight saves with a 2.11 ERA last season, while he currently owns a 1.93 ERA in nine appearances this season out of the bullpen.

A list of every former Wichita Wind Surge player who has appeared in at least one MLB game. Taylor Eldridge/The Wichita Eagle
A list of every former Wichita Wind Surge player who has appeared in at least one MLB game. Taylor Eldridge/The Wichita Eagle

Of the 28 Wind Surge graduates who have reached the majors, 14 of them are currently still playing at the major-league level with eight of them currently on the Twins’ active roster. Those are infielder Jose Miranda, second baseman Edouard Julien, outfielder Austin Martin, catcher Jair Camargo and pitchers Josh Winder, Cole Sands, Louie Varland and Kody Funderburk.

Miranda was the Wind Surge’s first breakthrough player in the majors, hitting 15 homers with a .268 average and 66 RBIs in his rookie year in 2022. He has since become a part-time starter around the infield for the Twins.

Julien is currently the starting second baseman for the Twins, hitting .175 with four homers and five RBIs. Varland is currently in the starting rotation and has made 18 starts over the last three years in Minnesota, while Sanders (1.17 ERA) and Funderburk (1.29 ERA) have excelled out of the bullpen this season. Meanwhile, hitting coach Derek Shoman and pitching coach Luis Ramirez have also been promoted to the big leagues.

More help from Wichita could be on the way soon for the Twins, as the Wind Surge currently feature top outfield prospect Emmanuel Rodriguez, who has already hit four home runs in his first 11 games for the Wind Surge with a sparkling .510 on-base percentage. He is rated as the No. 3 overall prospect in the Twins’ farm system.