| Seasons | 2003 | Teams | Battle Creek Yankees |
2003 East: | Battle Creek | Dayton | Fort Wayne | Lansing | South Bend | West Michigan |

2003 Scouting Report

Battle Creek Yankees

Major Change

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

This page profiles the 2003 Battle Creek Yankees, a Single-A affiliate of the New York Yankees and a member of the Midwest League.


Post-Season Profile

Through July, the Yankees played about 50/50 ball. Then they got hot. Real hot.

What changed? Less than you'd think. The pitching, the offense, and the defense all improved slightly. BC's team remains a team with a mediocre offense and an adequate pitching staff, but the pieces fit better in the late season. Mitch Seoane made some effective changes to the lineup, benching the weakest hitters and sacrificing some defense for better punch. Jayson Drobiak pushed his already-excellent offensive game up a notch. But the biggest change is that the Yanks stopped losing games to the teams they should beat.

In a different year, corner infielder Jayson Drobiak would be an MVP candidate. Catcher Jon-Mark Sprowl, obtained as part of a major league trade, continued to play at the level he'd established in South Bend; this was a key lineup change which occurred around the time the team began winning. Outfielder Bronson Sardinha, DH/first baseman Eric Verbryke, second baseman Gabe Lopez, and outfielder Rudy Guillen all contributed to the effort. Drobiak, interestingly, was probably this team's best baserunner.

The pitching situation was pretty chaotic, though it settled down in August. Of the baker's dozen pitchers Mitch Seoane used as starters during the season, Jose Garcia was easily the best, with Ray Clark, Jose Valdez, Jeremy King, Matt DeSalvo, and Gary Bell all showing some talent. For most of the summer, Matt Brumit was the team's closer, with Thad Markray in the setup role. Cristian Mendoza & Jaime Saldana were fairly consistently effective out of the bullpen.

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

MWL Fan's Guide

Season Summary

  • Second Half: 40-29, .580 (2nd place, 3.5 behind--Playoff Qualifier)
  • First Half: 33-35, .485 (5th place, 7.0 behind)
  • Pitching: 73-64, 3.80, 33 saves, 6 complete games, 884 strikeouts
  • Hitting: .261, 628 runs, 98 HR, 76 steals (66% success)
  • Defense: 144 errors (1.05 per game); .699 defensive efficiency
  • April: 12-13 (.480)
  • May: 14-16 (.467)
  • June: 12-12 (.500)
  • July: 14-16 (.467)
  • August/September: 21-8 (.724)
  • Playoff Round 1: 2-0 (1.000)
  • Playoff Round 2: 0-2 (.000)
  • Position Players used: 18
  • Pitchers used: 24

Leading Players

  • Best Player on the Team: First Baseman Jayson Drobiak

  • Best Starting Pitcher: Jose Garcia (9-8, 2.64, 90 strikeouts)
  • Bullpen Stopper: Matt Brumit (2.47, 5-3, 23 saves, 29 strikeouts)
  • Strikeout Pitcher: Charlie Isaacson
  • Control Pitchers: Ray Clark, Jeremy King, Thad Markray

  • Best Hitter: Jayson Drobiak (.293, 30 HR, 86 RBI) or Jon-Mark Sprowl (.321, 5 HR, 62 RBI--mostly at South Bend)
  • Home Run Leader: Jayson Drobiak (30)
  • High Batting Average: Jon-Mark Sprowl (.321)
  • High On Base Percentage: Jon-Mark Sprowl (.425)
  • High Slugging Percentage: Jayson Drobiak (.559), Sandy Madera (.458)
  • Notable Baserunners: Jayson Drobiak, Eric Verbryke, Gabe Lopez, Joaquin Arias
  • Notable Batting Eye: Jon-Mark Sprowl, Bronson Sardinha

The Yankees at Mid-Season

The Yanks have scored 268 runs and have permitted 290 runs. Mitch Seoane uses 2.9 pitchers per game.

BC's Yankees don't hit well, run the bases poorly, and have a more-or-less average pitching staff. They do play pretty good defense, and have some power throughout the lineup. That they've won almost exactly half their games, week in and week out, is perhaps a bit of a surprise. Unless the parent Yanks fortify this team, the win two/lose two season seems likely to continue.

While 24-year-old first baseman Jayson Drobiak is fairly experienced for a Midwest League player, you can't knock his performance; this man has a legitimate claim for MWL MVP at mid-season. Outfielder Rudy Guillen's developed into a fine prospect over the half-season, though he needs to trade some of the strikeouts for walks, and fellow outfielder Eric Verbryke's also been solid. Until he went on the DL, OF Erold Andrus was making an extremely valuable contribution. Only Drobiak is a true power source, but all the team's hitters are threats; this team leads the league in home runs and sacrifice flies.

The best Yankee pitching efforts have been very good, but there haven't been enough of them. Starting pitchers Jose Garcia and Anderson Garcia have been consistently excellent, though both--particularly Anderson G--have been regular victims of the team's poor offense. Closers Charlie Isaacson and Matt Brumit have been pretty much unhittable, but aren't getting many opportunities to shine. In middle relief, Jaime Saldana's been--well, interesting; Thad Markray's usually pitched well.

Promoted and missed: Utility player Willie Vasquez & starter Jeremy King.

Worth watching: Outfielder Bronson Sardinha.

June 1 Profile

The most remarkable thing about BC's Yanks is how consistent they've been throughout the first half of the season. Send a good team to C.O. Brown Stadium? Expect them to lose half the set. A weak team? Same result, whether home or away. Although there are a couple speedsters on the roster, this team does not run.

First baseman Jayson Drobiak is having an MVP-caliber season, and outfielders Rudy Guillen and Matt Carson have been playing very fine baseball. Shortstop Joaquin Arias has Prospect written all over him, but needs work, while utility player Willie Vasquez has hit decently despite playing several postions. Second baseman Gabe Lopez has perhaps the best batting eye in the league, and plays his position well. Third baseman Juan Camacho has power from both sides of the plate, and is a delight to watch on the field.

The members of BC's starting rotation are all capable of pitching well, only Jose Garcia has consistently done so. At their best, Anderson Garcia and Jeremy King can be brilliant. The closer committee consists of Charlie Isaacson, who's been consistently excellent, and Matt Brumit, who's pitched only slightly less well. The middle relief team, on the other hand, has not shown well.

May 15 Profile

These Yanks are an odd team. Despite a punchless offense and an unexceptional pitching record, they've split virtually every series; inevitably, they're playing .500 baseball. This team's baserunning is poor; on the field, they rarely drop balls but they let more fall into the gaps than most MWL teams.

The hitting's simply described: First baseman Jayson Drobiak's having an impressive season, and outfielders Rudy Guillen and Matt Carson have made strong recoveries from weak starts. No one else has performed reliably, though some show promise.

Starter Jose Garcia's pitched better than his record; Jeremy King hasn't, though at his best he's been nearly unhittable. After dropping his first start, Ray Clark's suffered two excellent outings with poor run support. The bullpen features some impressive talent: Closer Charlie Isaacson's pitched even better than his record, Matt Brumit's also been closing games effectively, and Josh Neitz has been funtioning as a usually-effective setup man. Spot starter Anderson Garcia's been generally effective, though too often the victim of unearned runs.

April 27 Profile

These Yankees are unremarkable, so far; most of their games have been close, and they've won about half of them. First baseman Jayson Drobiak and utility player Willie Vasquez have been hitting well, while infielder Joaquin Arias and outfielder Rudy Guillen have excellent baseball tools. The pitching's mixed: Starter Jose Garcia has had excellent outings, and relievers Josh Neitz and Charlie Isaacon have been brilliant. Starter Jose Valdez has been inconsistent, but shows promise.

Pre-Season Profile


Mitch Seoane's a fairly conventional Midwest League manager, though perhaps a touch more conservative than most. When he was in the Angels organization, his pitchers routinely led the league in complete games--this was an organizational trait, not necessarily Seoane's preference.

First Round Draft Selections

  • none

Team Age Information

  • Average Team Age: 21.5
  • Pitchers: 22.0
  • Hitters: 21.0
  • Oldest Player on the Team: Francisco Villegas (March 23, 1978)
  • Youngest Player on the Team: Joaquin Arias (September 21, 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.

BC's first Yankee team is built around last season's excellent Staten Island team, with significant contributions from Greensboro and the Gulf Coast Yanks.

Team           League             W/L    Place   Hitters Pitchers
Tampa          Florida State (A+) 71/61   5(12)      1     0
Greensboro     South Atlantic (A) 75/65   7(16)      4     3
Staten Island  New York-Penn (A-) 48/26   1(14)      8     5
Yankees        Gulf Coast (R)     36/24   3(14)      6     4

Several members of this team played for two teams last year and are counted twice on this table; one played for three. One played in an independent league last season, another played in the Mexican League, and a third played in the Dominican Summer League.

Battle Creek


Battle Creek

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
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