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Midwest League 1996

Lansing Lugnuts

Joel's Lugnut Summer


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This page profiles the 1996 Lansing Lugnuts, a Single-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and a member of the Midwest League.


Although this essay mimics the format of the others in this set, it was intended as a parallel commentary and was originally embeded in another essay. The object was to show how I'd comment on the Nuts if I was writing a similar column for another audience.



I thought it might be instructive to look at the Lugnuts the way I look at the opposition. I research these previews mainly by studying the current stat sheets, with some looks to other places; if I happen to know something about a specific player, that generally shows up as well.


The Lugnuts are affiliated with the Kansas City Royals and are owned by a small, Chicago-based partnership. Last year this franchise played in Springfield, Illinois and was known as the Sultans of Springfield, where they drew less than 600 fans per game. At Lansing their attendance has improved; their average attendance is nearly 7,000 fans daily.

The Lugnuts are managed by Brian Poldberg and coached by Curtis Wilkerson and Mike Mason (pitching).


MWL Fan's Guide

The Ballpark

Nothing written for this essay.


The Team


All-Stars: Blaine Mull (P), Todd Thorn (P), Jose Cepeda (3B), Mark Melito (SS), Mark Quinn (OF), Juan Rocha (OF).

Statistics quoted are through Sunday, June 16.

The Lugnuts finished last in the Eastern Division for the first half-season with a 29-40 (.420) record, 9.5 games behind West Michigan and two games out of fourth place. The team has generally good hitting and a generally poor pitching staff.

Besides the Sultans, the Royals fielded low-minors teams in Spokane and the Gulf Coast League last summer. The Spokane Indians finished 6th of 8 teams in the Short-Season A Northwest League in 1995, with a 36-39 (.480) record; the Rookie GCL Royals topped their 16-team league at 47-12 (.797!). The Lugnuts' current roster draws from all of those teams, with one player down from Wilmington in the Carolina League.

This team is a generally good-hitting team with no real stars. They score lots of runs--they're second in the league in runs scored--and steal lots of bases. Outfielder Mark Quinn (.333-4-35) is near the top of the league's batting race, but doesn't lead the team in any other categories. Third Baseman Jose Cepeda (.282-0-36) is having a good season but shows little power. Outfielder Juan Rocha (.286-11-43) is a power threat. Second baseman Carlos Febles (.281-2-17; 4 triples, 18 steals) has excellent speed, as does outfielder Pat Hallmark (.267-4-31, 4 triples, 12 steals). Power threats include DH Doug Blosser (.205-5-18), first baseman Gary Coffee (.228-6-35), and catcher Matt Treanor (.239-5-23). Virtually everyone is a threat to steal, to score runs, to knock in runs.

This team's pitching has a few bright spots but is pretty bad. Except for starters Blaine Mull (6-5, 2.60, 56 Ks), Michael Robbins (4-4, 3.63, 45), and Todd Thorn (6-3, 3.25, 58), no pitcher appears reliable. Reliever Jose Santiago has some decent but hardly breathtaking numbers, while reliever Scott Key has a decent strikeout rate in a relatively few innings pitched. New starter Kevin Hodges (with High-A Wilmington last year) looks decent after three starts, but has no decisions. Beyond these pitchers, this team is weak.



Lansing
Seasons

2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
Overview
Royals
Affiliates

Burlington
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
Lansing
1998
1997
1996
Overview


The Midwest League plays Single-A, professional baseball in America's agricultural and industrial heartland. 16 teams play a 140 game schedule which begins in early April and ends Labor Day weekend.

Disclaimers:
This website is a private project and has no official relation with or sanction from the Midwest League or Minor League Baseball.
The opinions expressed on this page are mine, and are worth about that.


Copyright © 1996-2010 Joel Dinda
Some Rights Reserved.