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Midwest League 1997

Kane County Cougars


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31aug10
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28jan07


1997 Teams
Beloit
Burlington
Cedar Rapids
Clinton
Fort Wayne
Kane County
Lansing
Michigan
Peoria
Quad City
Rockford
South Bend
West Michigan
Wisconsin

This page is a profile of the 1997 Kane County Cougars, a Single-A affiliate of the Florida Marlins and a member of the Midwest League. The profile was first published in early April and was revised periodically; this final revision was completed in early September.

All statistics quoted on this page are through the end of the season.


Geneva, Illinois; affiliated with the Florida Marlins.
Manager: Lynn Jones (#10)
Coaches: Brian Peterson (#19) (Pitching), Matt Winters (#35)

High Attendance: 13,759 (August 23)
Low Attendance: 1,750 (April 9)
Average Attendance: 6,614
1996 Season Average: 6,607


Post-Season Wrapup

In many years, the Cougars' starting pitching would have been the league's best; this year it was probably third best. The hitting was around the League's average. These guys completed the season with a spectacular August, which nailed down their playoff slot.

Tyrone Horne was in the wrong league; while we can't ignore anyone that productive we can discount his prospects. Outfielder Julio Ramirez has speed and power, but first baseman Jason Garrett and catcher Ryan Robertson had better years. These guys are solid players; Ramirez might develop into a star.

Starting pitcher Brent Billingsley had a great year, while rotation mates Aaron Cames and Bobby Rodgers had better years than their won/lost totals show. On the other hand, reliever Martin Sanchez didn't pitch as well as his 22 saves suggest. The rest of the supporting cast was very good. Cames is probably the staff's best talent.


MWL Fan's Guide

Team Leaders


  • Best Player on the Team: Pitcher Brent Billingsley

  • Pitching: 70-68 (.507), 4.03, 10 CG, 10 Shutouts, 29 saves, 1090 Ks
  • Hitting: .254, 667 runs, 78 HR, 137 SB
  • First Half: 33-37 (.471), 5th, 7.5 behind
  • Second Half: 37-31 (.544), 1st, ---
  • After August 1: 18-10 (.643)
  • Defeated Wisconsin in the first round of the playoff, 2-0 (Central Division)
  • Defeated Cedar Rapids in the second round of the playoff, 2-0
  • Lost to Lansing in the Championship Round of the playoff, 3-2

  • Best Starting Pitcher: Brent Billingsley (3.01, 14-7, 171 IP, 175 Ks)
  • Bullpen Stopper: Martin Sanchez (4.50, 3-5, 22 saves, 54 IP, 57 Ks)
  • Best Strikeout Pitcher: Geoff Duncan (96 Ks in 86 innings)
  • Best Control Pitcher: Aaron Cames (157 Ks, 43 BB in 150 innings)
  • Best Hitter: Tyrone Horne (.306, 89 runs, 24 doubles, 21 homers, 91 RBI, 18 steals)
  • Highest BA: Tyrone Horne (.306)
  • Home Run Leader: Tyrone Horne (21)
  • Best Baserunner: Julio Ramirez (41 steals, 7 triples)

July Evaluation

The Cougars' offensive and pitching numbers are both a hair below the league's average, which helps explain the just-below-.500 performance of this team. The hitters manage to get lots of walks, and when they get on base there's a lot of speed available. Lefty pitcher Brent Billingsley leads the league in strikeouts and is probably the team's best player; DH Tyrone Horne is clearly the best hitter. Outfielder Julio Ramirez, a fine baserunner, shows a lot of promise.


June Evaluation

Both the offense and the pitching have some very good players and some rather poor performers. The Cougars offense is rather poor compared to the league, though some of the individual players are hitting very well. The team's ability to draw walks is really quite remarkable. The pitching staff is unremarkable--though there are some fine individual performers. DH Tyrone Horne would be an MVP candidate in another year; first baseman Jason Garrett hits well, and outfielder Julio Ramirez runs extremely well. Brent Billingsley and Aaron Cames are among the best starters in the MWL; relievers Travis Wyckoff and Martin Sanchez are generally effective.


May Evaluation

Two months into the season, this team has no distinguishing features except that it runs the bases well and throws lots of strikeouts. The hitting is generally weak, except for Garrett; and while the pitching staff has several solid prospects, they've been balanced by some atrocious performances.


April Evaluation

The Cougars are a fairly weak team; their pitching is generally unremarkable, except that they tend to get strikeouts, and the hitting is poor, though there's some basepath speed.




Where they played last season

This team resembles last summer's Utica team, though the GCL Marlins, the Cougars, and Brevard County have contributed to its makeup.

Team           League         W/L   Place(Teams)  Hitters Pitchers
Brevard County Florida State  47-92    14(14)       5       0
Kane County    Midwest        65-68     9(14)       4       0
Utica          New York-Penn  29-47    13(14)       5       7
Marlins        Gulf Coast     34-25     5(16)       3       3

Several players are counted on two teams. Two players spent last season in other organizations, and another began his season in another system.


  • Oldest Player:
    • Ryan Robertson (C), born 9-30-72 (24)
  • Youngest Player:
    • Ismael Reynoso (SS), born 6-17-78 (19)
  • Average Team Age:
    This information is based on early-season rosters.
    • Pitchers: 21.6
    • Position Players: 21.0
    • Team Average: 21.3

  • First Round Draftee:
    • none

  • Baseball America Top 100 Minor League Prospects
    • Julio Ramirez (#57)
    • Nelson Lara (#85)
  • Baseball Weekly Minor League Prospect Report
    • Julio Ramirez (#11 center field prospect)
  • Baseball America Marlins Prospects (Post-Season)
    • Julio Ramirez (#3, fastest baserunner, best defensive outfielder, best outfield arm)
    • Nelson Lara (#6, best fastball)
    • Brent Billingsley (#10, best control)
  • Baseball America Minor League All-Star/Top Prospects Teams
    • Julio Ramirez (MWL Prospects #6)
  • Baseball America Organization Wrapups
    • Nelson Lara (Keep an eye on)
  • USA Today Baseball Weekly Minor League All-Star Team
    • Brent Billingsley (pitcher "worth watching")
  • 1997 Midwest League All Stars
    • Julio Ramirez (outfield)
    • Tyrone Horne (designated hitter)
  • Baseball America Mid-Season Highlights
    • Julio Ramirez (best MWL outfield arm)
  • All-Star Game, June 17, Lansing
    • Brent Billingsley (P)
    • Aaron Cames (P)
    • Jason Garrett (1B)
    • Ryan Robertson (C)
    • Martin Sanchez (P)
    • David Townsend (P)

  • Jason Alaimo
    • July 28: double, homer
  • Jorge Bautista
    • April 25: 4 hits
  • Brent Billingsley
    • May 14: 8 shutout innings
    • July 9: 11 strikeouts
    • July 14: complete game
    • July 24: 4 hit shutout, 10 strikeouts
    • August 26: 5 hit complete game win
  • Roosevelt Brown
    • June 10: homer, triple, 6 RBI
  • Aaron Cames
    • May 8: 2 hit shutout, 10 strikeouts
    • May 29: complete game shutout, 11 strikeouts
    • August 24: No hitter!, 3 walks, 13 strikeouts
  • Jason Garrett
    • April 25: 5 for 8, 5 runs
    • June 7: double, triple
  • Jon Heinrichs
    • July 10: double, triple
  • Tyrone Horne
    • 16 game hitting streak
    • April 24: double, homer
    • April 25: 4 hits, homer, 2 doubles, 5 RBI
    • May 16: double and homer
    • June 11: 2 homers
    • June 28: double, homer
    • July 2: triple, homer
  • Larry Kleinz
    • May 17: 4 RBI
    • June 9: homer, double, 4 runs batted in
    • August 10: double, homer
  • Brandon Leese
    • July 31: 7 shutout innings
  • Tim McClaskey
    • August 27: 10 strikeouts
  • Scott Podsednik
    • April 25: 5 RBIs
    • June 22: 4 for 5
    • July 11: 4 for 4, double, homer
    • August 5: 4 runs batted in
    • August 10: 5 for 7
  • Julio Ramirez
    • 16 game hitting streak
    • April 23: 4 RBI
    • April 24: 2 home runs
    • May 24: 4 for 4, double, triple
    • June 9: 2 homers
    • June 11: homer, double
    • June 29: 2 home runs, 4 runs batted in
    • July 1: 4 for 5
  • Bobby Rector
    • July 30: 4 hit shutout, 12 strikeouts
  • Ryan Robertson
    • May 10: double, triple
    • June 27: 2 homers, 6 RBI
    • July 3: 4 runs scored
    • July 12: 4 for 5
    • August 21: 4 runs batted in, 2 homers
  • Bobby Rodgers
    • August 8: complete game loss, 10 Ks
    • August 20: complete game win (7 innings)


Kane County
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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.

Disclaimers:
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
Some Rights Reserved.