| Seasons | 2008 | Teams | Kane County Cougars |
2008 West: | Beloit | Burlington | Cedar Rapids | Clinton | Kane County | Peoria | Quad Cities | Wisconsin

2008 Scouting Report

Kane County Cougars

Major Change

2008 Teams
Cedar Rapids
Fort Wayne
Great Lakes
Kane County
Quad Cities
South Bend
West Michigan

This page profiles the 2008 Kane County Cougars, a Single-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics and a member of the Midwest League.

Unless otherwise indicated, all statistics on this page are through the end of the 2008 season.

MWL Fan's Guide

Season Summary

  • Second Half: 33-37, .471 (6th place, 10.5 behind)
  • First Half: 39-29, .574 (2nd place, 2.5 behind; playoff qualifier)
  • Pitching: 3.45, 72-66, 36 saves, 30 holds, 2 complete games, 1039 strikeouts
  • Hitting: .259, 627 runs, 81 HR, 149 steals (72% success)
  • Position Players used: 26
  • Pitchers used: 25
  • Pitchers per game: 3.01

Leading Players

  • Best Player on the Team: Starting Pitcher Craig Italiano

  • Best Starting Pitcher: Craig Italiano (1.16, 7-0, 79 strikeouts) or Scott Mitchinson (1.74, 5-3, 78 strikeouts)
  • Bullpen Stopper: Justin Friend (3.84, 5-5, 115 saves, 2 holds, 78 strikeouts)
  • Strikeout Pitchers: Craig Italiano, Justin Friend, Lance Sewell, Scott Mitchinson, Chad Kerfoot, Nick Walters, Scott Moore
  • Control Pitchers: Jamie Richmond, Scott Hodsdon, Scott Mitchinson, Chad Kerfoot, Brad Hertzler, Travis Banwart, Scott Moore, Carlos Hernandez

  • Best Hitter: Corey Brown (.270, 14 HR, 49 RBI; 12 steals)
  • Home Run Leader: Greg Dowling (15)
  • High Batting Average: none
  • High On Base Percentage: Adam Klein (.416)
  • High Slugging Percentage: Corey Brown (.483), Todd Johnson (.458)
  • Notable Baserunners: Michael Richard, Larry Cobb, Adam Klein, Matt Ray, Corey Brown, Todd Johnson, Jonathan Johnston, Jemile Weeks, Jake Smith
  • Notable Batting Eye: Adam Klein, Michael Richard

May Profile

The Cougars have slowed a bit from their remarkable start, but this is a very stong team. Kane County has an excellent pitching staff, and a very good lineup.

Outfielder Corey Brown and first baseman Jake Smith have been devastating at bat; they're the key hitters in a lineup that's capable but not overwhelming. Shortstop Michael Richard looks to have a lot of potential.

Manager Aaron Nieckula's got a wealth of pitching talent. Travis Banwart, Craig Italiano, and Scott Mitchinson anchor a strong rotation, with Jamie Richmond only a notch behind them. The bullpen's been outrageously good; nearly everyone throws strikes, and gets people out. Branden Dewing deserves a special mention, but Scott Deal, Justin Friend, Brad Hertzler, Jose Fragoso, and Chris Farley have all made strong contributions.

Pre-Season Profile

Best not to take these early writeups too seriously....

Sometimes the previous years' stats are just plain misleading, and this team looks like an example. It's pretty easy to recognize that Michael Richard's probably a two-slot hitter, that Corey Brown's gonna be the star in the third slot, and Greg Dowling's a natural cleanup hitter--but the rest is pretty much up for grabs. Leonardo Espinal and Scott Moore were fairly effective in closer roles last season, and the pitching staff doesn't show much weakness, but neither does it look overpowering. I expect this team to be successful, mostly because I remember last August's Cougars, but how it's going to work is a little mysterious. [Of course, as I write this, KC's Won/Lost is 8-0....]


Based on his first two managerial seasons, Nieckula's a fairly conventional MWL manager. His Cougars haven't run much.

First Round Draft Selections

  • Corey Brown (2007 sandwich pick; 59th selection)

Team Age Information

  • Average Team Age: 22.8
  • Pitchers: 22.7
  • Hitters: 22.9
  • Oldest Player on the Team: Chris Farley (2/24/1983)
  • Youngest Player on the Team: Scott Deal (12/11/1986)

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 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 Kane County team has a solid core returning from last summer's team; it was filled out from many places.

Team           League             W/L    Place    Hitters Pitchers
Stockton       California (A+)    64/76  9(10)       0       3
Kane County    Midwest (A)        63/76 10(14)       5       6
Vancouver      Northwest (A-)     37/38  2(8)        5       5
Athletics      Arizona (R)        25/31  7(9)        1       0

Two of these players played for two Oakland farms last summer, and one played for three; they are counted more than once on this table. Four of the new Cougars were in other organizations in 2007, and one has never played professionally.

Kane County


Kane County
West Michigan

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.

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