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Midwest League 1997

South Bend Silver Hawks


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This page is a profile of the 1997 South Bend Silver Hawks, a Single-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks 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.


South Bend, Indiana; affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Manager: Dickie Scott (#23)
Coaches: Dennis Lewallyn (#41) (Pitching), Jim Presley (#17), Jim Reinebold (#4)

High Attendance: 7,501 (July 4)
Low Attendance: 857 (April 10)
Average Attendance: 3,141
1996 Season Average: 3,520


Post-Season Wrapup

The Hawks had a weak offense all summer--then the late-season transfers of Jason Conti and Jackie Rexrode completely crippled the team's already-weak run-scoring ability.

Arizona's still building their farm system, and it really showed in South Bend. The Silver Hawks started the season with two or three hitters on the roster and a bunch of pickups and youngsters. The results were about what you'd expect; these guys only scored occasionally.

The pitching story's more interesting. The Diamondbacks assigned two first-round draftees to South Bend, John Patterson and Nick Bierbrodt. Although they each pitched only about a half-season, and they collected only 3 wins between them, the talent was obvious. Except for starter Brad Penny and reliever Pete Harvell, who managed good records, the rest of the generally-solid pitching staff pitched well, but lost.


MWL Fan's Guide

Team Leaders


  • Best Player on the Team: Outfielder Jason Conti

  • Pitching: 54-83 (.394), 3.76, 1 CG, 6 Shutouts, 27 saves, 972 Ks
  • Hitting: .251, 591 runs, 61 HR, 92 SB
  • First Half: 24-43 (.358), 5th, 24.0 behind
  • Second Half: 30-40 (.429), 5th, 17.0 behind
  • After August 1: 15-14 (.517)

  • Best Starting Pitcher: Brad Penny (2.73, 10-5, 119 IP, 116 Ks)
  • Bullpen Stopper: Pete Harvell (2.90, 4-5, 13 saves, 62 IP, 57 Ks)
  • Best Strikeout Pitcher: John Patterson (95 Ks in 78 innings)
  • Best Control Pitcher: John Patterson (95 Ks, 34 BB in 78 innings) or Brad Penny (116 Ks, 43 BB in 119 innings)
  • Best Hitter: Rob Ryan (.314, 71 runs, 35 doubles, 5 triples, 73 RBI, 12 steals)
  • Highest BA: Rob Ryan (.314)
  • Home Run Leader: John Adams (10)
  • Best Baserunner: Jason Conti (30 steals, 10 triples)

July Evaluation

The pitching's gotten respectable, but the hitting needs a lot of work. Although the Hawks have a handful of capable position players, the others aren't pulling their weight. Outfielder Jason Conti is exceptional, while outfielder Rob Ryan and second baseman Jackie Rexrode are very good. Of the pitchers, only Pete Harvell's having a really good season, but there's so much talent there....


June Evaluation

South Bend's hitting's pretty weak, despite the presence of a couple star players; the pitching, on the other hand, has improved enormously since we last looked and has become acceptable. Outfielder Jason Conti is among the league's best leadoff-type hitters, and his outfield companion Rob Ryan does a good job of knocking runs in. Second baseman Jackie Rexrode is simply solid. While none of the pitchers have shown star quality, there's not a weak link in the set; this is now a difficult team for hitters to face.


May Evaluation

South Bend's Diamondbacks introduction is not going very well. With only a couple exceptions, the hitters are playing terribly. While the pitchers seem to have a lot of potential, they're not carrying anything out to the mound. Outfielder Jason Conti's an exciting player, who knows how to get on base and takes advantage of his opportunities.


April Evaluation

The Hawks are getting pretty good pitching, but the hitters have been terrible: no power, and lots of strikeouts.




Where they played last season

The expansion Diamondbacks fielded two rookie teams last summer, and shared a Single A team with the Tigers. This squad is largely, and evenly, drawn from the rookie teams.

Team           League         W/L   Place(Teams)  Hitters Pitchers
Visalia        California     59-90     9(10)       1       0
Lethbridge     Pioneer        50-22     1(8)        7       3
Phoenix        Arizona        20-36     6(6)        5       5

Two these players played for two teams last summer, and are counted twice here. Two served time last summer at the Double-A level in other organizations, and three were apparently not active in professional baseball.


  • Oldest Player:
    • Martin Lister (P), born 6-12-72 (25)
  • Youngest Player:
    • Jackie Rexrode (2B), born 9/16/78 (18)
  • Average Team Age:
    This information is based on early-season rosters.
    • Pitchers: 20.9
    • Position Players: 21.1
    • Team Average: 21.0

  • First Round Draftees:
    • Nick Bierbrodt (P), 1996
    • John Patterson (P), 1996 (Montreal Expos)

  • Baseball America Top 100 Minor League Prospects
    • John Patterson (#45)
  • Baseball America Diamondbacks Prospects (Post-Season)
    • John Patterson (#2, best breaking ball)
    • Jhensy Sandoval (#4, best outfield arm)
    • Brad Penny (#6, best control)
    • Mark Osborne (#7)
    • Nick Bierbrodt (#11)
  • Baseball America Minor League All-Star/Top Prospects Teams
    • John Patterson (MWL Prospects #5)
    • Nick Bierbrodt (MWL Prospects #8)
  • Baseball America Organization Wrapups
    • Brad Penny (Best pitcher in the system)
  • 1997 Midwest League All Star
    • Jason Conti (outfield)
  • Baseball America Mid-Season Highlights
    • Jason Conti (best MWL defensive outfielder)
  • All-Star Game, June 17, Lansing
    • Jason Conti (OF)
    • Ron Hartman (3B)
    • Pete Harvell (P)
    • Jackie Rexrode (2B)

  • John Adams
    • August 1: 2 homers
    • August 19: homer, triple, 4 runs batted in
  • Jason Conti
    • April 4: double, triple
    • June 12: 2 doubles, homer, 4 RBIs
    • July 5: 4 for 5, 4 runs
  • Jason Crews
    • Diamondbacks' Pitcher of the Month for June.
  • Ron Hartman
    • April 9: double, triple
    • April 19: 4 for 5
    • June 8: double, homer
  • Wil Madera
    • August 17: double, triple
    • August 26: 4 runs batted in
  • Tony Martinez
    • June 19: double, homer
    • June 27: 4 for 5, 3 doubles, triple
    • August 5: 5 runs batted in
  • Joshua McAffee
    • May 8: homer, triple
  • Jose Nunez
    • May 17: 4 for 6, double, triple
    • July 29: 4 for 4
    • August 19: 4 for 5
  • Mark Osborne
    • April 29: homer, double
    • May 26: 4 runs batted in
    • June 26: 4 for 5, double, triple
    • August 7: homer, double
    • August 15: double, homer, 4 RBI
  • John Patterson
    • August 11: 7.2 shutout innings, 1 hit, 1 walk
    • August 27: 12 strikeouts
  • Brad Penny
    • Diamondbacks system's minor league Pitcher of the Month for July and August.
    • June 25: 6 shutout innings, 2 hits
    • July 16: 7 shutout innings, 3 hits
  • Jackie Rexrode
    • May 6: double, home run
    • June 12: 4 for 5
  • Larry Rodriguez
    • May 30: complete game
    • June 10: 6 shutout innings, 3 hits
  • Rob Ryan
    • May 11: triple, homer
    • June 2: 2 doubles, home run
    • August 2: 2 doubles, home run, 5 RBI
    • August 4: 4 for 5
    • August 25: 4 runs batted in
  • Kevin Sweeney
    • August 25: 4 for 5


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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.