| Seasons | 2006 | Teams | Fort Wayne Wizards |
2006 East: | Dayton | Fort Wayne | Lansing | South Bend | Southwest Michigan | West Michigan |

2006 Scouting Report

Fort Wayne Wizards

Major Change

2006 Teams
Cedar Rapids
Fort Wayne
Kane County
Quad Cities
South Bend
Southwest Michigan
West Michigan
  • Memorial Stadium, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • Affiliated with the San Diego Padres.
  • Manager: Randy Ready.
  • Coaches: Max Venable, Tom Bradley (pitching).

This page profiles the 2006 Fort Wayne Wizards, a Single-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres and a member of the Midwest League.


Unless otherwise indicated, all statistics on this page are through September 4, 2006.

MWL Fan's Guide  
Fort Wayne


Fort Wayne

Season Summary

  • Second Half: 40-30, .571 (3rd place, 8.0 behind)
  • First Half: 31-36, .463 (6th place, 10.0 behind)
  • Pitching: 71-66, 3.76, 27 saves, 3 complete games, 884 strikeouts
  • Hitting: .263, 672 runs scored, 81 HR, 91 steals (68% success)
  • Defense: 145 errors (1.06 per game)
  • April: 11-10 (.524)
  • May: 11-15 (.423)
  • June: 15-14 (.517)
  • July: 14-15 (.483)
  • August-September: 20-12 (.625)
  • Playoff Round 1: 1-2 (.333)
  • Position Players used: 28
  • Pitchers used: 24
  • Pitchers per game: 3.4

Leading Players

  • Best Player on the Team: Outfielder Nic Crosta

  • Best Starting Pitcher: Wade Leblanc (2.20, 4-1, 27 Ks)
  • Bullpen Stopper: John Madden (2.12, 2-3, 20 saves, 2 holds, 48 Ks)
  • Strikeout Pitchers: Mark Roberts
  • Control Pitchers: Josh Geer, Mark Roberts, Gregg Burke, Alfredo Fernandez, Jarrett Gardner, Grant Varnell

  • Best Hitter: Nic Crosta (.382, 7 HR, 30 RBI) or Will Venable (.314, 11 HR, 91 RBI)
  • Home Run Leader: Daryl Jones (12)
  • High Batting Average: Nic Crosta (.382), Will Venable (.314)
  • High On Base Percentage: Nic Crosta (.490), Jose Lobaton (.408)
  • High Slugging Percentage: Nic Crosta (.667), Nick Hundley (.474), Kyle Blanks (.455), Craig Cooper (.476), Dave Freeze (.510), Will Venable (.477)
  • Notable Baserunners: Josh Alley, Mike Baxter, Seth Johnston, Mike Sansoe, Will Venable
  • Notable Batting Eye: Josh Alley

Mid-July Profile

Fort Wayne's team is pretty average, though the Wizards' pitching staff has some weaknesses; in particular, they don't throw lots of strikeouts. This is the MWL's best team on the basepaths, though they really don't run very often.

Will Venable's perhaps the MWL's most exciting player; there's lots of talent there, though he's not yet showing much power. There is power scattered through the lineup, with shortstop Seth Johnston and first basemen Kyle Blanks and Daryl Jones making regular contributions. There's lots of speed in the daily lineup. Nic Crosta--in my opinion, the league's best 2006 player--was promoted at the All-Star break.

Josh Geer's the best starting pitcher; he's putting in a solid season. The other starters have struggled. There's some talent in the bullpen, with nominal closer John Madden and utility pitcher Brandon Higelin pitching particularly well.

May Profile

The Wizards have scored 246 runs while permitting 228 to score; with that run differential you'd not expect them to be in the division cellar. Much of the problem has been luck, which ought to start breaking in their favor. The team plays decent defense; their baserunning is excellent, though their game is not built around it.

Fort Wayne's pitching staff's pretty dull. While the starting rotation has no overwhelming talent, neither have they been a disaster. The really strange thing is the lack of a pitcher in the closer role; this is Fort Wayne, after all, where the league's leading closer has generally been found for the past half-decade. This year, they've apparently no relievers working in fixed roles. John Madden's the nearest thing to a closer on the staff, and may be the best talent; Brandon Higelin also merits attention. We'll have to see if anyone else develops as the summer goes along.

Outfielder Nic Crosta's just posted a spectacular month, and is now the MWL's best player. First baseman Daryl Jones is the team's best slugger, and OF Will Venable--this team's best athlete--is a young stud. First baseman Kyle Blanks, another slugger, and speedster outfielder Mke Sansoe are also helping the strong offense.

April Profile

There's more than one way to become "average." The Wizards have accomplished this by combining an outstanding offensive nine with weak pitching and a miserable defense.

Josh Geer and Grant Varnell are doing well in the pitching rotation. The bullpen's an odd mix of talent and disappointment, with Alfredo Fernandez, Brandon Higelin, and John Madden pitching well in April.

Seth Johnston's this team's offensive star, but the supporting cast of Mike Baxter, Kyle Blanks, Ray Chang, Nic Crosta, Daryl Jones, Mike Sansoe, and Will Venable is certainly worth noting. They score lots of runs. OF Josh Alley deserves special mention; his ability to draw walks and excellent baserunning nearly make up for his weak hitting. Nearly.

Pre-Season Profile


Randy Ready 's been a pretty conservative manager so far. His pitchers are really unlikely to finish games, which is likely a Padres farm system characteristic.

First Round Draft Selection

  • None

Team Age Information

  • Average Team Age: 22.0
  • Pitchers: 22.1
  • Hitters: 22.0
  • Oldest Player on the Team: Kyle Pawelczyk (born 11/18/1981)
  • Youngest Player on the Team: Kyle Blanks (born 9/11/1986)

The average player in the Midwest League this season is 21.9 years old. This information is based on opening day rosters as published on the team website and will not be updated.

Where they played last season

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

The 2006 Fort Wayne Wizards closely resemble last summer's Eugene Emeralds.

Team          League             W/L    Place    Hitters Pitchers
Lake Elsinore California (A+)   70/68   6(10)       1      1
Fort Wayne    Midwest (A)       65/75 11T(14)       4      3
Eugene        Northwest (A-)    34/42  6T(8)        9     10
Padres        Arizona (R)       29/27   4(9)        5      1

There was lots of movement in the San Diego system last summer; most of the Ft. Wayne pitchers and many of the hitters played for two teams last summer. One of these players played in an independent league last summer; two others apparently did not play professionally (though both have played in other organizations in the past).

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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