| Seasons | 1998 | Teams | Lansing Lugnuts |
1998 East: | Fort Wayne | Lansing | Michigan | South Bend | West Michigan |

Midwest League 1998

Lansing Lugnuts

Major Change

1998 Teams
Cedar Rapids
Fort Wayne
Kane County
Quad City
South Bend
West Michigan

This page is a profile of the 1998 Lansing Lugnuts, a Single-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and a member of the Midwest League. The main object of this page was to give clues about which players you should watch when the Lugnuts visited each team; this page was first published in April and was updated through the season.

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

Lansing, Michigan; affiliated with the Kansas City Royals.
Manager: Bob Herold (#35)
Coaches: Larry Carter, Rodney McCray

High Attendance: 11,366 (August 22)
Low Attendance: 2,929 (May 4)
Average Attendance: 7,041 (through end of season)
1997 Season Average: 7,813
Note: These unofficial numbers may have errors.

Post-Season Profile

The Lugnuts fielded a pretty average team in the League's strongest division, so they were never in real contention for any playoff slot and had a rather frustrating season. There were some fine players to root for, though.

Goefrey Tomlinson started the year with this team, and would have contended for MWL Prospect of the Year had he not been promoted. Juan LeBron, a terrific athlete long touted as a leading prospect, finally played at that level. Gary Coffee returned to Lansing in mid-season, and played delightful baseball. Joe Dillon showed tremendous power potential. And Micah Williams was the best thief on a team which loved to run.

The Lugnuts had a reasonably talented pitching rotation. Justin Pederson was the staff workhorse, and pitched well, though Kris Wilson was the best starter. Only Aaron Carter and Scott Key pitched well in relief.

MWL Fan's Guide

Team Profile

Season Summary

  • First Half: 37-35 (.514), 3rd place, 6.0 behind
  • Second Half: 34-34 (.500), 4h place, 9.0 behind
  • Pitching: 71-69, 4.19, 1 CG, 9 shutouts, 37 saves, 991 Ks
  • Hitting: .261, 695 runs, 89 HR, 207 steals
  • April: 11-10 (.524)
  • May: 15-15 (.500)
  • June: 13-14 (.481)
  • July: 13-16 (.448)
  • August: 13-13 (.500)
  • September: 6-1 (.857)

  • Best Player on the Team: First Baseman Gary Coffee

  • Best Starting Pitcher: Kris Wilson (3.53, 10-5, 117.1 IP, 74 Ks)
  • Bullpen Stopper: no bullpen stopper
  • Best Strikeout Pitcher: Aaron Carter
  • Control Pitcher: Kris Wilson

  • Best Hitter: Juan LeBron (.251, 17 HR, 84 RBI; 18 steals) or Gary Coffee (.284, 8 HR, 44 RBI)
  • Highest BA: Gary Coffee (.284)
  • Home Run Leader: Juan LeBron (17)
  • Best Baserunners: Micah Williams (33 steals)
  • Best Batting Eye: Joe Caruso

July Profile

This year's Luggies aren't really very good, but they've got some interesting players. They run a lot, a couple players have good power, and there are three fine pitchers in the rotation.

First baseman Gary Coffee played in Lansing two summers back, and had a forgettable season. He returned to Lansing in mid-summer; I'm sure he doesn't want to be here, but he's putting on a real offensive show. Outfielder Juan LeBron, a wonderful athlete, is the team's most talented player, though. Third baseman Joe Caruso contributes daily. The mound corps is better than their numbers show, because Lansing's ballpark works against them; that noted, Kris Wilson's been absolutely incredible, while Edwin Gonzalez and Justin Pederson are starring in other rotation slots. Relief is by committee, with the usual poor results.

One more to watch: Shortstop Steve Medrano made the All-Star team with his glove.

June Profile

The Lugnuts lost their best player, Geofrey Tomlinson, and their best pitcher, Lance Carter, to the Royals' midseason player shuffle; they're still adjusting to those changes. Some fine players remain. This is a speedy team with serious power; both talents are distributed throughout the batting order.

Edwin Gonzalez is a terrific pitcher, and Justin Pederson is very good. Outfielder Juan LeBron's among the very best MWL talents. Second baseman Joe Caruso's nearly the most difficult MWL player to strike out, and has been hitting well. First baseman Gary Coffee, who's returned to Lansing from the Carolina league, was likely the MWL's best hitter in June.

May Profile

Lansing's offense has two or three stars, lots of stolen bases, and a bunch of role players. The pitching staff is better than its stats show, largely because Olds Park makes most pitchers look bad.

Goefrey Tomlinson is delightful and may be the best prospect in this league. He's flanked in the outfield by Juan LeBron, who's finally playing somewhere near his talent and billing, and Vic Radcliff, who's a solid outfielder. Lance Carter's probably the best talent on the pitching staff, though all the starters have been pitching well. Reliever Steve Maas has also pitched well, but his stat line suggests he's been pretty lucky.

April Profile

The Luggies are a potentially excellent squad; they've got solid pitching and some brilliant offensive players. Keep an eye on the baserunner: This team runs!

Pre-Season Profile


Manager Bob Herold has managed in the minors for 6 years, mainly in short-season leagues. 1998 will be his second Lansing year. Complete games are rare (probably a Kansas City dictate), as are intentional passes; his running game is fairly conventional.

Where they played last season

Lansing's team is based on the 1997 Spokane Indians, with a lot of pieces added from other teams.

Team       League         W/L    Place    Hitters Pitchers
Wilmington Carolina (A)   62-78   8(8)        1       0
Lansing    Midwest (A)    69-68   6(14)       5       2
Spokane    Northwest (A)  45-31   2(8)        7       5
Royals     Gulf Coast (R) 36-24   3(15)       1       4

One player was in another organization last summer, and two played for independent teams. One was injured and did not play. No 1998 Lugnut performed above Class A in 1997. Three players appeared for more than one of these teams and are counted twice in the table.

Team Age

This information is based on the opening-day roster.

  • Oldest Player:
    • Steve Maas, 24 (7/31/73)
  • Youngest Player:
    • Juan Brito, 18 (11/9/79)
  • Average Team Age:
    • Pitchers: 21.5
    • Position Players: 21.5
    • Team Average: 21.5

First Round Draftee

  • Juan LeBron (1995; 19th pick)
  • Matt Smith (1994; 16th pick; on disabled list)


  • Jeremy Affeldt
    • Baseball America Royals Prospects Report: #14 prospect
  • Lance Carter
    • 1998 Midwest League All-Star Game selection
  • Juan LeBron
    • Baseball America best Mets Prospects: #8 prospect (after trade....)
    • Baseball America best Royals Prospects: #8 prospect
    • Baseball America 1998 Post Season MWL Prospects: Number 10
    • 1998 Midwest League Post-Season All-Star Outfielder
    • Baseball America Best Tools: best outfield arm
    • Midwest League Hitter of the Week for June 7-13
    • 1998 Midwest League All-Star Game selection
    • Midwest League Hitter of the Week for April 19-25
  • Steve Medrano
    • Baseball America best Royals Prospects: best infield arm
    • Baseball America Best Tools: best infield arm
    • 1998 Midwest League All-Star Game selection
  • Justin Pederson
    • 1998 Midwest League All-Star Game selection
  • Dan Reichert
    • Baseball America best Royals Prospects: #6 prospect, best breaking ball
  • Goefrey Tomlinson
    • Baseball America best Royals Prospects: #11 prospect
    • Howe SportsData Emerging Prospect
    • 1998 Midwest League All-Star Game selection
    • 1997 Northwest League: batting champion and on base percentage leader
    • Baseball America Royals Prospects Report: #4 prospect, fastest baserunner
    • Baseball America 1997 Royals Draft Analysis: best pro debut, fastest baserunner, best athlete, best pure hitter
  • Dave Willis
    • Baseball America 1997 Royals Draft Analysis: best raw power




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.

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.