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Midwest League 1998

The Best Players

Think of this as my "All-Star" team: As of May 21, these were the Midwest League's best players at each position.

You may wish to compare my selections with the managers' selections; see the teams selected for the mid-season All-Star Game and for the post-season All-Star honors.


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1998 Season
Summary
Highlights
League
MWL Fan's Guide
Name              Bats Pos  Tm  AB    R   H  2B 3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  SB   BA  OBA  SLG
Hillenbrand, Shea  R    C   MIC 147  26  50   7  3   6   27   3  13   3 .340 .353 .551
LeCroy, Matthew    R    C   FW  123  15  37  11  1   4   19  18  19   0 .301 .390 .504
Moon, Brian        S    C   BEL 139  27  47   7  0   0   24  17  18   0 .338 .410 .388
Name              Bats Pos  Tm  AB    R   H  2B 3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  SB   BA  OBA  SLG
Bly, Derrick       R   IF   RKF 147  17  54  15  2   1   22  20  35   4 .367 .443 .517
Clark, Jermaine    L   IF   WSC 124  19  39   8  5   1   15  14  15  10 .315 .384 .484
Cuddyer, Michael   R   IF   FW  148  25  44  13  2   4   27  19  34   3 .297 .377 .493
Gload, Ross        L   IF   KC  139  25  47  17  1   5   30  22  28   3 .338 .429 .583
Leggett, Adam      S   IF   CR  138  28  43  10  2   4   17  19  21   9 .312 .395 .500
Ozuna, Pablo       R   IF   PEO 157  32  53   6  3   3   21   8  15  19 .338 .370 .471
Ryan, Mike         L   IF   FW  114  20  39   9  1   2   23  12  23   0 .342 .405 .491
Name              Bats Pos  Tm  AB    R   H  2B 3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  SB   BA  OBA  SLG
Bevins, Andy       R   OF   PEO 149  17  35   9  0   5   30  11  41   0 .235 .287 .396
Foster, Quincy     L   OF   KC  166  22  51   2  3   0   12   7  31  24 .307 .335 .355
Grimmett, Ryan     R   OF   WMI 153  31  44   3  5   1   12  22  43  25 .288 .377 .392
Jacobsen, Bucky    R   OF   BEL 152  22  48   9  0   8   33  18  31   2 .316 .388 .533
Tomlinson, Goefrey L   OF   LAN 151  29  45   4  5   3   21  18  11  13 .298 .373 .450
Name                Tm   Th  W  L  ERA   G  Sv    IP   H  R ER   BB  Ks K/W K/IP
Anderson, Ryan      WSC  L   3  0 1.75   6   0  25.2  16  6  5   20  43 2.2 1.7
Ankiel, Rich        PEO  L   3  0 2.06   7   0  35.0  15  8  8   12  41 3.4 1.2
Harriger, Mark      CR   R   5  2 2.59   9   0  62.2  52 21 18   20  66 3.3 1.1
Miller, Matt        WMI  L   5  1 0.82   8   0  55.0  28  6  5   16  50 3.1 0.9
Mota, Danny         FW   R   4  1 0.52  12   2  17.1   7  3  1    4  22 5.5 1.3
Rodriguez, Wilfredo QC   L   3  2 2.74   8   0  46.0  38 21 14   14  54 3.9 1.2
Romo, Greg          WMI  R   6  2 2.87   9   0  53.1  38 19 17   14  63 4.5 1.2
Taglienti, Jeff     MIC  R   2  0 1.40  15   7  19.1  16  5  3    3  23 7.7 1.2
Viegas, Randy       WMI  L   1  0 4.30  13   0  14.2  16  7  7    4  22 5.5 1.5
Wright, Scott       BUR  R   0  1 0.37  19   12 24.1   9  4  1    6  28 4.7 1.2

A few notes are in order, of course:

  • Starters? Batting Order? Pitching Rotation? How 'bout:
    • Batting Order
    • Leggett (2B)
    • Grimmett (CF)
    • Gload (1B)
    • Hillenbrand (DH)
    • Bly (3B)
    • LeCroy (C)
    • Foster (RF)
    • Bevins (LF)
    • Ozuna (SS)
    • Rotation
    • Romo (P)
    • Anderson (P)
    • Ankiel (P)
    • Miller (P)
    • Rodriguez (P)
    • Relief
    • Wright (closer)
  • This isn't a list of prospects. It's a list of players having excellent seasons; most of them are "prospects," but that wasn't a consideration.
  • Some of this is simple; Ross Gload is the obviously-best first baseman, and Derrick Bly's the best hitter at third. Some slots are more difficult: For instance, shortstops Mike Cuddyer and Pablo Ozuna are so differently talented that selecting one over the other is pretty arbitrary; both are extremely valuable. And the pitchers? I could easily select 15. Maybe 20. Mark Harriger of Cedar Rapids deserves a slot in the rotation. Tom Shearn of Quad City deserves to be on the team....
  • No credit whatever is given for defensive brilliance, nor is there any penalty for defensive incompetence. It's not that I'm not interested; I just don't have enough information.
  • No one who's actively filling the DH slot on any team is listed here, not because I dislike designated hitters but because none of them deserve to be here. If I was forced to put a "real" DH on the squad, he'd be Nick Caiazzo (of Beloit); Hillenbrand would move to catcher and I'd have to bench LeCroy. I'd really rather not do that.
  • Outfielders Mike Colangelo (Cedar Rapids) and Rontrez Johnson (Michigan) deserve some mention; they haven't played a lot, but they've hit really well....
  • Obviously, this is just my opinion.


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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.

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