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

2003 Scouting Report

Cedar Rapids Kernels

Major Change

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

This page profiles the 2003 Cedar Rapids Kernels, a Single-A affiliate of the Anaheim Angels and a member of the Midwest League.


Post-Season Profile

The Cedar Rapids nine had a decent season, but finished out of the playoff picture. Anaheim's farm system seems to follow the big team's general approach to hitting: Put the ball in play, and expect good things to happen. The Kernels had a high team batting average; they scored runs very well despite having slight power and drawing few walks. (This is definitely a change since mid-season; see my note, below.) Unfortunately, the roughly-average defense and below-average pitching staff didn't pull their weight.

CR's keystone combination excelled at the plate: Second baseman Alberto Callaspo was selected to the post-season All-Star squad, and shortstop Erick Aybar posted generally similar numbers. Both are speedsters with a bit of offensive punch. Catcher Jared Abruzzo was the best power source on the team, and third basemen Greg Porter and Adam Pavkovich both put up excellent numbers.

Starter Jean Toledo has some curious numbers; in effect, he seems to be the converse of the offense, also saying "put it in play, and see what happens." This worked well for him this season. Kevin Jepsen's probably the best pitcher who started regularly for any length of time. The rest of the rotation? They were OK. Closers Richard Thompson, Ozzie Lugo, and James Carroll all pitched well; Thompson's particularly impressive. But except for Hayden Gliemmo and a couple bit players, the middle relievers were ineffective, or worse.

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

MWL Fan's Guide

Season Summary

  • Second Half: 34-35, .493 (6th place, 9.0 behind)
  • First Half: 32-37, .464 (5th place, 8.5 behind)
  • Pitching: 66-72, 3.99, 31 saves, 2 complete games, 864 strikeouts
  • Hitting: .265, 634 runs, 65 HR, 118 steals (67% success)
  • Defense: 154 errors (1.12 per game); .705 defensive efficiency
  • April: 15-10 (.600)
  • May: 11-18 (.379)
  • June:11-16 (.407)
  • July: 16-14 (.533)
  • August/September: 14-14 (.500)
  • Position Players used: 19
  • Pitchers used: 25

Leading Players

  • Best Player on the Team: Second Baseman Alberto Callaspo

  • Best Starting Pitcher: Jean Toledo (2.44, 12-7, 58 strikeouts
  • Bullpen Stopper: Richard Thompson (0.24, 1-2, 9 saves, 54 strikeouts) and a committee
  • Strikeout Pitchers: Richard Thompson, Ozzie Lugo
  • Control Pitcher: Richard Thompson

  • Best Hitter: Alberto Callaspo (.327, 2 HR, 67 RBI; 86 runs scored, 20 steals) or Erick Aybar (.308, 6 HR, 57 RBI; 83 runs scored, 32 steals)
  • Home Run Leader: Jared Abruzzo (13)
  • High Batting Average: Alberto Callaspo (.327), Erick Aybar (.308), Greg Porter (.305), Adam Pavkovich (.320)
  • High On Base Percentage: none
  • High Slugging Percentage: David Gates (.455)
  • Notable Baserunners: Alberto Callaspo, Erick Aybar, Kevin Jenkins, Sergio Contreras
  • Notable Batting Eye: Alberto Callaspo

The Kernels at Mid-Season

The Kernels have scored 295 runs and permitted 315 runs. Todd Claus uses 3.4 pitchers per game.

Cedar Rapids followed a very strong April with a weak May, then recovered a bit in June. Although this team leads the league in hits and has some power, it does not score runs particularly effectively--perhaps because they don't take many walks. CR's pitching staff is a bit worse than league-average, with a pronounced tendency to wildness. These guys play very good defense.

Second baseman Alberto Callaspo and shortstop Erik Aybar are very similar players, though Callaspo's clearly having a better season; both are leadoff-hitter types with some power. Catcher Jared Abruzzo's, contributing power, and DH Alex Dvorsky has been helping. The rest of the regulars hit fairly well, and the bench has some strong role-players. Callaspo, Aybar, and outfielder B.J. Weed are fine baserunners.

Starters Jean Toledo and Kevin Jepsen are very solid pitchers, and the rest of the rotation has pitched reasonably well. Richard Thompson's been nearly flawless since assuming the closer role, and Ozzie Lugo's pitched well in middle relief. Unfortunately, the rest of the pitching staff's a bit weak. This team leads the league in walks allowed, and throws lots of wild pitches.

Promoted and missed: Outfielder David Gates.

Worth watching: Outfielder Caleb Maher.

June 1 Profile

These guys started strong, then collapsed in May. The CR offense is geared rather like the big league Angels--get lots of hits, and don't worry about the other stuff. The pitching staff is all right, but isn't strong enough to carry the team if the hits fail. The Kernels play excellent defense.

This team's keystone combination is it's soul: Shortstop Eric Aybar and second baseman Alberto Callaspo are steady, competent ballplayers who are having excellent seasons. Catcher Jared Abruzzo brings some power to the mix. All of the regulars contribute to the offense, but none are strong hitters.

The pitching rotation's being reconstructed--for good reasons. Kevin Jepsen, Jean Toledo, and Raphael Rodriguez have pitched well, but the rest of the starters have been ineffective. Richard Thompson's been moved into the closer role since I last looked at this team, where he's been very effective; this is probably the best pitcher on the staff. Ozzie Lugo and Hayden Gliemmo have pitched well in setup roles.

April 30 Profile

The Cedar Rapids team brings a very strong offense and an adequate pitching staff to the game. The best hitters are catcher Jared Abruzzo and shortstop Eric Aybar, with some power supplied by outfielder David Gates. Kevin Jepsen's a passable candidate for the MWL's best pitcher, so far, while Daniel Arias and Richard Thompson have pitched well in relief. Austin Bilke, the team's nominal closer has three saves and lots of potential but hasn't yet pitched well for the Kernels.

Pre-Season Profile


Todd Claus hasn't yet shown any unusual tactical preferences.

First Round Draft Selections

  • none

Team Age Information

  • Average Team Age: 21.1
  • Pitchers: 20.8
  • Hitters: 21.5
  • Oldest Player on the Team: Hayden Gliemmo (November 20, 1978)
  • Youngest Player on the Team: Rafael Rodriguez (September 24, 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.

This team begins with last summer's Provo squad, with additional players mostly from the AZL team. This should be the youngest team CR's seen in years.

Team             League          W/L    Place    Hitters Pitchers
Rancho Cucamonga California (A+) 52/88  10(10)      4      3
Cedar Rapids     Midwest (A)     81/58   3(14)      2      0
Provo            Pioneer (R+)    38/38   4(8)       9      8
Angels           Arizona (R)     28/28  T3(7)       2      5

Many of these players played on two teams last summer and are counted twice in this table. Two did not play professionally in 2002, and one appeared in seven games at the Double-A level.

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.

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