| Seasons | 2002 | Teams | Burlington Bees |
2002 West: | Beloit | Burlington | Cedar Rapids | Clinton | Kane County | Peoria | Quad Cities | Wisconsin |

2002 Scouting Report

Burlington Bees

Major Change

2002 Teams
Cedar Rapids
Fort Wayne
Kane County
Quad City
South Bend
West Michigan
  • Burlington, Iowa.
  • Affiliated with the Kansas City Royals.

This page profiles the 2002 Burlington Bees, a Single-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and a member of the Midwest League.

  • Manager: Joe Szekely.
  • Coaches: Patrick Anderson, Jose Bautista (pitching).

End of Season Profile

One of baseball's mysteries, here: Somehow this team qualified for a playoff slot despite poor pitching, weak defense, and dreadful baserunning. The team featured a handful of talented players, and a bunch of role players. Joe Szekely stitched together a patchwork team and made a respectable season.

Kyle Middleton started the summer in the Burlington bullpen, but earned a rotation spot and a 14-5 won/lost record. Chris Tierney also pitched well in the rotation, but was the victim of bad luck. Jorge Vasquez and Barry Armitage both pitched well from the 'pen. No one else pitched well in any role.

Second baseman Ruben Gotay had a very good season, and several others--outfielders Odannys Ayala and James Shanks, and first baseman Chris Fallon--all seem solid talents. That's where Szekely's talent ran thin, as the rest of the hitters were generally weak.

Weak team, decent season. Pretty impressive, if you ask me....

The Bees used 19 position players and 22 pitchers during the 2002 season. First baseman Chris Fallon pitched two innings in two appearances and is counted in both categories.

Unless otherwise indicated, all statistics on this page are through the end of the season.

MWL Fan's Guide

Season Summary

  • Second Half: 35-35, .500 (4th place tie, 9.0 behind; playoff qualifier)
  • First Half: 33-36, .478 (3rd place tie, 9.5 behind)
  • Pitching: 68-71, 4.44, 29 saves, 822 strikeouts
  • Hitting: .259, 654 runs, 54 HR, 79 steals (57% success)
  • Defense: 185 errors (1.33 per game); .698 defensive efficiency
  • April: 10-14 (.417)
  • May: 17-12 (.586)
  • June: 11-15 (.423)
  • July: 13-15 (.464)
  • August & September: 17-15 (.531)
  • Playoff Round One: 0-2 (.000)

Leading Players

  • Best Player on the Team: Second Baseman Ruben Gotay

  • Best Starting Pitcher: Kyle Middleton (3.74, 14-5, 64 strikeouts)
  • Bullpen Stopper: Barry Armitage (2.45, 5-2, 7 saves, 59 strikeouts)
  • Strikeout Pitchers: Jorge Vasquez, Barry Armitage
  • Control Pitchers: Jorge Vasquez, Richard Zary

  • Best Hitter: Ruben Gotay (.285, 9 HR, 87 RBI)
  • Home Run Leader: Jon Guzman (10)
  • High Batting Average: none
  • High On Base Percentage: none
  • High Slugging Percentage: Ruben Gotay (.456)
  • Notable Baserunners: James Shanks, Jon Guzman, Victor Rosario
  • Notable Batting Eye: none

July Profile

Frankly, I don't understand it. This team's defense is awful, the pitching's bad, and the baserunning's painful. But they win nearly as many as they lose. I'm developing a lot of respect for this manager. Someday maybe the Royals will recruit him some talent.

Second baseman Ruben Gotay's a solid ballplayer, and outfielders Odannys Ayala & James Shanks are valuable contributors. The other regular players are marginal talents, but each has something to contribute.

The pitching rotation's--well, it's really quite bad. Somehow reliever Kyle Middleton has posted a winning record. Barry Armitage seems to be wasted as a closer; he's the only obviously-good pitcher remaining on the staff.

The Bees have scored 511 runs; their opponents have scored 591 runs.

June Profile

The Bees remain a team without obvious strengths; they have got some plain weaknesses. As a group: They swing at everything, haven't got a lot of power, and play awful defense. The pitching's similar....

Notable Midseason Loss: Richard Zary.

Worth Watching: Relief Pitcher Jorge Vasquez.

May Profile

A strong, strong May from the Bees, though I'm not sure why. The pitching improved a bit, but it practically had to and doesn't explain the month's gaudy won/lost record.

The Burlington team's a mixed set of talents. Manager Joe Szekely deserves credit for handling the array well. The trick, this summer, may be finding a way to mix and match the talents without sacrificing player development. Should be an interesting experience. By the way: The Bees play terrible defense.

Here's a partial explanation: The pitching staff's better than its record. Some early-season bad luck pushed the team's ERA up; since then, the pitching's been throwing pretty good ball. Colt Griffin, Jay Kaanoi, and Chris Tierney are reliable starters, and the relief corps has some possibilities.

Second baseman Ruben Gotay and outfielder Ben Cordova are valuable hitters, and the rest of the starters have a usable mix of talents. Again, manager Szekely's earned some respect by balancing things out. He has speed (outfielders James Shanks and Jon Guzman) and power (Gotay, Guzman); the rest are bit players with possibilities.

April Profile

Burlington's ballclub generated a pretty good offense in April, but the Bees' pitching's been easily the MWL's worst and the defense has been atrocious. Outfielder Jon Guzman's gotten off to a very strong start; he's shown good speed and enough power to be interesting.

Pre-Season Profile


This is Joe Szekely's third season as a minor league manager and his second at Burlington. He's been a conventional manager for the most part. He doesn't like to issue intentional walks.

First Round Draft Selection

  • Mike Stodolka, 2000; fourth player selected

Team Age Information

  • Average Team Age: 21.7
  • Pitchers: 21.6
  • Hitters: 21.8
  • Oldest Player on the Team: Pitcher Wes Wilkerson (born September 11, 1976)
  • Youngest Player on the Team: Pitcher Chris Tierney (born September 1, 1983)

The average player in the Midwest League this season is 21.6 years old. Average ages were calculated from the opening day roster; age as of July 1, 2002.

This website has more information about team ages.

Where they played last season

This is a brief portrait of how the team was put together. These summaries are based on the team's opening day roster and will not be revised to reflect roster changes.

These Bees played throughout the Royals low minors system last summer. Those were bad teams....

Team           League             W/L     Place    Hitters Pitchers
Wilmington     Carolina (A+)      78/62    2(8)       0       1
Burlington     Midwest (A)        55/79   14(14)      3       4
Spokane        Northwest (A-)     22/54    8(8)       6       4
Royals         Gulf Coast (R)     20/40  T13(14)      2       4

The Royals didn't move these guys much last season; only a couple guys are counted twice in this table (one's counted three times, though). Two of the new Bees did not play professionally last season; another played in the Royals' Dominican camp.




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.

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