| Seasons | 2003 | Teams | Burlington Bees |
2003 West: | Beloit | Burlington | Cedar Rapids | Clinton | Kane County | Peoria | Quad City | Wisconsin |

2003 Scouting Report

Burlington Bees

Major Change

2003 Teams
Battle Creek
Cedar Rapids
Fort Wayne
Kane County
Quad City
South Bend
West Michigan

This page profiles the 2003 Burlington Bees, a Single-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and a member of the Midwest League.


Post-Season Profile

The Bees began the season as an exceptionally weak team, but by summer's end they'd improved to respectability. While this team had no power, it was very good at getting on base and was surprisingly successful at driving runners home. One the other hand, the team's cobbled-together pitching staff never quite found its footing. These guys ran the bases well without being particularly aggressive on the paths. Burlington's defense was the MWL's best.

Second baseman Donnie Murphy's season was terrific, even though few noticed. Outfielder Mel Stocker had a slightly less impressive summer, as did third baseman Damaso Espino. These guys all show good speed, fine batting eyes, and little power (though Murphy and Stocker hit enough triples to suggest that they might develop into power sources). Outfielder Tim Frend and first baseman Kila Kaaihue provided light power in this lineup. While many Burlington players run well, Stocker deserves special mention. Past these, there wasn't much on the Burlington bench.

The pitching staff was a strange experiment. Manager Joe Szekely used a handful of pitchers as regular starters (only Kieran Mattison pitched well), used another handful as closers (Steve Chamberlain did OK), and used his three best pitchers in swing roles (Devon Lowery, Drew Endicott, and Trae McGill). McGill's easily the most promising pitcher in the set, though Mattison appears interesting. Shaun Shiery pitched well in his two appearances; Colt Griffin remains an enigma.

Except where otherwise specified, all statistics are through the end of the season.

MWL Fan's Guide

Season Summary

  • Second Half: 35-35, .500 (5th place, 8.5 behind)
  • First Half: 29-39, .426 (8th place, 11.0 behind)
  • Pitching: 64-74, 4.05, 30 saves, 10 complete games, 864 strikeouts
  • Hitting: .253, 628 runs, 47 HR, 123 steals (72% success)
  • Defense: 130 errors (0.94 per game); .711 defensive efficiency
  • April: 6-20 (.231)
  • May: 14-15 (.483)
  • June: 14-11 (.560)
  • July: 14-16 (.467)
  • August/September: 17-12 (.586)
  • Position Players used: 16
  • Pitchers used: 22

Leading Players

  • Best Player on the Team: Second Baseman Donnie Murphy

  • Best Starting Pitcher: Kieran Mattison (2.50, 8-5, 89 strikeouts)
  • Bullpen Stopper: Steve Chamberlain (3.38, 3-7, 10 saves, 57 strikeouts)
  • Strikeout Pitchers: Jonah Bayliss, Trae McGill
  • Control Pitchers: Kieran Mattison, Nate Hoelscher, Justin Lord, Trae McGill

  • Best Hitter: Donnie Murphy (.313, 5 HR, 98 RBI)
  • Home Run Leader: Kila Kaaihue & Tim Frend (11)
  • High Batting Average: Donnie Murphy (.313)
  • High On Base Percentage: none
  • High Slugging Percentage: none
  • Notable Baserunners: Donnie Murphy, Mel Stocker, Angel Sanchez, Bernard Stephens, Erik Dean, Eric Lonnquist
  • Notable Batting Eye: Eric Lonnquist

The Bees at Mid-Season

The Bees have scored 276 runs and have permitted 283 runs. Joe Szekely uses 2.5 pitchers per game.

There are some odd things about the Bees. This team has three fine starting pitchers, a generally adequate pitching staff, and two very fine hitters. The defense is excellent; so is the baserunning. There's no power, though, and even less depth. The result is the MWL's weakest team. Even Joe Szekely, a manager I greatly admire, hasn't been able to turn things around. They did play well in early June, which is perhaps promising.

Outfielder Mel Stocker and second baseman Donald Murphy are both leadoff types, though Murphy's been doing very well hitting in the third slot. Both are patient hitters who draw walks and run the bases well. Unfortunately, the same description fits the next-best hitter, third baseman Damaso Espino, and the next-best as well, Tim Frend--though they're one or two tiers weaker than Stocker and Murphy. Beyond these four, there's very little.

The pitching staff in Burlington is interesting. Starters Kieran Mattison, Jonah Bayliss, and Eric Ackerman are very good pitchers. The team has used five pitchers in closer roles; Devon Lowery and Drew Endicott have flourished, and none of the closers have caused damage. The rest of the bullpen, though, brings potential disaster to the mound; that's perhaps why Szekely doesn't tend to go there.

Promoted and missed: No damaging promotions.

Worth watching: Pitcher Nate Hoelscher.

May 29 Profile

The Bees are the MWL's worst team; while this team has an adequate pitching staff, the hitting is simply atrocious. Baserunning can be called a team strength--well, there are three fine baserunners, anyway. The Burlington defense is acceptable.

The Bees have a mixed pitching staff; the best pitchers are excellent, but those are balanced by some very poor performers. While starters Eric Ackerman and Kieran Mattson have better won/lost records, Jonah Bayliss has pitched exceptionally well despite being victimized by bad defense and weak hitting. Colt Griffin's all about potential--he's strong, but extremely wild. Drew Endicott and Devon Lowery have done very well in relief roles.

Center fielder Mel Stocker's putting together a very fine season; he's a speedster, a very smart baserunner, and a decent hitter. Third baseman Damaso Espino and second baseman Donald Murphy are paler versions of Stocker; those are the next-best hitters. No one on this team shows any power.

Pre-Season Profile


Joe Szekely has been a fairly conventional manager to this point. He doesn't hand out many intentional walks.

First Round Draft Selection

  • Colt Griffin (2001; 9th player selected)

Team Age Information

  • Average Team Age: 21.6
  • Pitchers: 22.0
  • Hitters: 21.2
  • Oldest Player on the Team: Jon Metzger (October 27, 1978)
  • Youngest Player on the Team: Kila Kaaihue (March 29, 1984)

The average player in the Midwest League this season is about 21.7 years old.

Where they played last season

This summary was based on the team's opening day roster and will not be revised to reflect roster changes.

The Royals have assigned the best of Spokane's players to Burlington; the other players are equally from last year's Bees team and the GCL Royals. These guys should be able to put runs on the board.

Team           League             W/L     Place    Hitters Pitchers
Wilmington     Carolina (A+)      89/51    1(8)       0      1
Burlington     Midwest (A)        68/71    9(14)      2      4
Spokane        Northwest (A-)     29/47    7(8)       9      7
Royals         Gulf Coast (R)     22/38   14(14)      3      3

A handful of these players appeared on two rosters last season and are counted twice in this table. One of the new Bees did not play professionally last summer; one spent last season in another organization. One of the new Bees can claim 6 games' experience at the Double-A level.




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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The opinions expressed on this page are mine, and are worth about that.

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