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

2002 Scouting Report

Cedar Rapids Kernels

Major Change

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

This page profiles the 2002 Cedar Rapids Kernels, a Single-A affiliate of the Anaheim Angels and a member of the Midwest League.

  • Manager: Todd Claus
  • Coaches: Todd Takayoshi, Keith Comstock (pitching).

End of Season Profile

The Kernels were the only MWL team without a dangerous weakness. This team featured great defense, an excellent offense, very good pitching, and effective baserunning. They had star players; they had a strong supporting cast; they could depend on their bench. Only Peoria's very strong talent core prevented this team from being the league's best nine.

The CR pitching rotation rated a high grade, though none were dominant talents. Johan Santana, in particular, had a fine summer. The bullpen was special, though: Closer Joel Peralta, spot starter John Rouwenhorst, and utility pitcher Steve Andrade deserve special mention for their fine performances.

First baseman Casey Kotchman, third baseman Dallas McPherson, outfielder Nick Gorneault, and catcher Jeff Mathis were a very strong center for an offense. Beyond these four, the offense tailed off a bit, but no regular hitter could be called truly weak and even the bench players were decent talents.

The Kernels used 16 position players and 19 pitchers. Catcher Brent Del Chiaro and utility player Jon Cahill each made one appearance as relief pitchers and are included in both counts.

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

MWL Fan's Guide

Season Summary

  • Second Half: 44-26, .629 (1st place, 1.0 ahead)
  • First Half: 37-32, .536 (2nd place, 5.5 behind; playoff qualifier))
  • Pitching: 81-58, 3.40, 40 saves, 1080 strikeouts
  • Hitting: .259, 698 runs, 78 HR, 146 steals (66% success)
  • Defense: 138 errors (0.99 per game); .708 defensive efficiency
  • April: 12-13 (.480)
  • May: 17-11 (.607)
  • June: 15-11 (.577)
  • July: 16-11 (.593)
  • August & September: 21-12 (.636)
  • Playoff Round One: 2-0 (1.000)
  • Playoff Round Two: 0-2 (.000)

Leading Players

  • Best Player on the Team: Catcher Jeff Mathis

  • Best Starting Pitcher: Johan Santana (4.16, 14-8, 146 strikeouts)
  • Bullpen Stopper: Joel Peralta (0.95, 5-0, 21 saves, 53 strikeouts)
  • Strikeout Pitchers: Joe Saunders, Johan Santana, Kyle Pawelczyk, Joel Peralta, Mark O'Sullivan, Stephen Andrade
  • Control Pitchers: Joe Saunders, Johan Santana, Steve Shell, Joel Peralta, Stephen Andrade

  • Best Hitter: Dallas McPherson (.277, 15 HR, 88 RBI)
  • Home Run Leader: Dallas McPherson (15)
  • High Batting Average: none
  • High On Base Percentage: none
  • High Slugging Percentage: Nick Gorneault (.465)
  • Notable Baserunners: Dallas McPherson, Nick Gorneault, Nick Klimpton, Tommy Murphy, Ransel Melgarejo
  • Notable Batting Eye: Casey Kotchman

July Profile

The Kernels are an outstanding team--very good pitching, the MWL's second-best run production, and really terrific defense. This is a nine with an immensely talented core and a strong supporting cast.

While first baseman Casey Kotchman, catcher Jeff Mathis, and third baseman Dallas McPherson are very different hitters, all are players you'd be pleased to find starring on your team. This is the heart of a high-scoring offense; all the regular players help the cause.

Cedar Rapids manager Todd Claus sends a first-class pitching staff out there. While none of the pitchers are stars, most are valuable contributors and there are few weak links in the rotation or the bullpen.

The Kernels have scored 531 runs; their opponents have scored 440 runs.

June Profile

This should be the team to beat this summer. The Kernels are a team with few weaknesses; they have fine hitting, an excellent pitching rotation, a good bullpen, and play fine defense. They're perhaps a little careless on the basepaths. Kotchman and Eylward improved in June, and Mathis is not so clearly the best player on the team.

Notable Midseason Losses: none.

Worth Watching: Outfielder Mike Eylward.

May Profile

On paper, the Kernels look like the best team in the Midwest League. In May, they played that way.

The Kernels have a very strong pitching staff, play excellent defense, run the bases well, and score pretty much at will. The talent's a little imbalanced--they've got weak hitters at short and in one of the outfield slots, and a couple of the pitchers are have difficulties--but those are not fatal problems.

Starters Steve Shell, Joe Torres, and Jake Woods are very strong pitchers. Jaime Steward's probably as good but has had some bad luck. Utility pitcher Jon Rouwenhorst may be better than these, as may short reliever Dustin Griffith. Closers Stephen Andrade and Joel Peralta haven't been used much, but have pitched very well.

Catcher Jeff Mathis is an MVP candidate, even in this pitcher's year. Second baseman Justin Turner has power and speed, while outfielder Nick Gorneault contributes a bit of speed. Except for the last two hitters in the lineup, every regular starter can hurt.

April Profile

Our mystery team for April: The Kernels have excellent pitching, score lots of runs, play great defense, and finished one game under .500 for the month. They accomplished this remarkable feat by collapsing completely; from April 23 into the new month this team went winless.

They'll recover. The loss streak was largely bad luck. Though this team has some clear weaknesses, the pitching staff will keep most games close. Joe Torres, Jake Woods, and Edward Steward stand out on this strong staff. The offense, though it's rather shallow, has a solid core with a mix of skills. Only Ransel Melgarejo and Jeff Mathis have been consistently dependable, so far.

Pre-Season Profile


This is Todd Claus's first season as a minor league manager.

First Round Draft Selection

  • Casey Kotchman, 2001; 13th selection
  • Joe Torres, 2000; tenth player selected

Team Age Information

  • Average Team Age: 21.4
  • Pitchers: 21.3
  • Hitters: 21.5
  • Oldest Player on the Team: Pitcher Steve Andrade (born February 8, 1978)
  • Youngest Player on the Team: Pitcher John Santana (born November 28, 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.

Basically, the Angels have promoted last season's excellent Provo squad to Cedar Rapids, with a few missing pieces supplied from elsewhere in the system. This is the youngest CR team since I've started tracking these things.

Team             League          W/L    Place    Hitters Pitchers
Rancho Cucamonga California (A+) 63/77   7(10)      2       1
Cedar Rapids     Midwest (A)     60/77  10(14)      4       3
Provo            Pioneer (R+)    53/23   1(8)      10       7
Angels           Arizona (R)     22/34   7(7)       5       4

Nearly everyone on the Kernels' roster played for two Angels farm teams last season and is counted twice in this table; it's safe to say stability has not been an organizational asset for a couple years. Two of the new Kernels did not play professionally last summer.

Cedar Rapids


Cedar Rapids

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.