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1999 Central: | Beloit | Kane County | Peoria | Rockford | Wisconsin |

Midwest League 1999

Peoria Chiefs


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This page profiles the 1999 Peoria Chiefs, a Single-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals and a member of the Midwest League.

Except when another date is specified, statistics on this page are through the end of the season.

  • Peoria, Illinois.
  • Affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Manager: Brian Rupp.
  • Coaches: Tony Diggs, Mike Snyder (pitching).

Post-Season Profile

These guys had an uphill battle. Although the Chiefs had some promising arms in the bullpen, the rest of the pitching was mediocre and the hitting was awful. After starter Robert Smith and shortstop Jack Wilson earned mid-season promotions, Peoria's team was probably the least talented nine in the league. As mentioned, there was some promise in the 'pen, while Troy Farnsworth, Brandon Folkers, and Troy McNaughton had respectable seasons at bat. But three decent hitters and a relief corps don't make a winning recipe.

That said, the Chiefs were surprisingly successful. Except for a July collapse, this team was always competitive; they played good baseball, day in and day out. Good job, guys.


MWL Fan's Guide

Season Summary

  • First Half: 37-32 (.536), 3rd place, 8.0 behind
  • Second Half: 26-44 (.371), 5th place, 14.0 behind
  • Pitching: 63-76, 4.75, 26 saves, 978 strikeouts
  • Hitting: .254, 641 runs, 69 HR, 125 steals (61% success)
  • Errors: 184 (1.32 per game)
  • April: 13-7 (.650)
  • May: 16-14 (.533)
  • June: 11-15 (.423)
  • July: 7-20 (.259)
  • August: 13-17 (.433)
  • September: 3-3 (.500)

  • Best Player on the Team: Pitcher Robert Smith

  • Best Starting Pitcher: Robert Smith (4-1, 2.83, 59 strikeouts)
  • Bullpen Stopper: Kirk Griffin (3-4, 11 saves, 3.60, 53 strikeouts)
  • Strikeout Pitchers: Robert Smith, Justin Brunette, Jeff Viles
  • Control Pitcher: Robert Smith

  • Best Hitter: Jack Wilson (.343, 3 HR, 28 RBI)
  • Home Run Leader: Troy Farnsworth (19)
  • High Batting Average: Jack Wilson (.343)
  • High On Base Percentage: none
  • High Slugging Percentage: Jack Wilson (.498)
  • Notable Baserunner: Esix Snead
  • Notable Batting Eye: none notable

July Profile

Peoria's allowed 561 runs this summer; they've only scored 461. The wheels came off in July as this team almost completely collapsed. The only team strength is the bullpen, and by the time they get in the game, things have often gotten out of hand.

There's outfielder Troy McNaughton--a serious power source, but too many strikeouts and too few walks. First baseman Brandon Folkers is valuable. Troy Farnsworth (3B) is OK. The rest of the hitters are awful. You really can't expect to win very regularly with that kind of offense.

There are some excellent pitchers in the pen. Kirk Griffin, Chad Yates, and Jon Hand deserve a better team.


June Profile

Although they had a June letdown, the Chiefs had a successful first half, finishing well over .500. I'm not sure how they managed it, though. The pitching's mediocre, at best. The hitting's simply terrible, and their baserunning is worse. The team's only strength is its defense.

With Jack Wilson gone, Peoria's only remaining quality hitter is outfielder Troy McNaughton, who has some punch and a good batting average. This is a team you want to face when your pitchers have been slumping.

The pitching's OK, but not really better than that. The best pitchers are short relievers Kirk Griffin and Justin Brunette, both of whom have excellent control. With a couple exceptions, the rest of the staff is adequate but unexciting.

Notable mid-season losses: Shortstop Jack Wilson and starting pitcher Robert Smith were both promoted in mid-June.

Also worth watching: Starting pitcher Andy Shibilo.


May Profile

The Chiefs are an interesting outfit: They're playing very good baseball with limited talent. One element of their success is that the talent's concentrated in a few key players. Another is that they play excellent defense.

Shortstop Jack Wilson is an early candidate for Most Valuable Player. He's an impatient hitter who rarely walks, but hits very well; he's also a fine baserunner and has a good reputation on defense. Outfielder Troy McNaughton is having a very similar season, so far, and third baseman Troy Farnsworth is also dangerous. First baseman Brandon Folkers is a decent hitter. Everyone else can be safely ignored, barring unforeseen improvements in their abilities.

Starter Robert Smith shows hints of real ability, while Steve Stemle and Les Walrond are pitching all right. The fourth starter, Scott Prather, has been successful but isn't pitching well. There's some strength in the bullpen; Kirk Griffin and Justin Brunette look especially promising.


April Profile

The Chiefs started the season with excellent pitching, excellent defense, and a pretty much average offensive squad. The hitters aren't patient enough, which hurts their on-base percentage, but the system's working all right so far.


Pre-Season Profile

Manager

This will be Brian Rupp's first season managing in professional baseball.


Where they played last season

These comments and table are based on opening day rosters.

This team is, in the main, last season's New Jersey team. There are a few Peoria holdovers; the remaining players were at Johnson City.

Team           League            W/L     Place    Hitters Pitchers
                                        (Teams)
Prince William Carolina (A+)     72-67   3(8)        0       0
Peoria         Midwest (A)       72-68   6(14)       5       1
New Jersey     New York-Penn (A) 34-41  11(14)       8       7
Johnson City   Appalachian (R+)  25-42  10(10)       3       4

The Cards resist moving their farmhands around, so only two players are counted twice in this table. One player on this team did not play professionally last season; none played above Class A.


First Round Draft Selection

  • none

Returning to the Midwest League

Members of last summer's Peoria team.

  • Miguel Diaz (53 games)
  • Jason Lee (122 games)
  • Kevin Nykoluk (67 games)
  • Joe Secoda (10 games)
  • Andy Shibilo (P, 7 games)
  • Jovany Williams (54 games)

Oldest & Youngest Chiefs

On opening day, the average age of the Chiefs was 22.3 years. Follow this link for more information about MWL team ages.

  • Oldest player on the team: Troy McNaughton (born January 27, 1975)
  • Youngest player on the team: Robert Smith (born October 23, 1979)


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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.

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.


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