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1997 East: | Fort Wayne | Lansing | Michigan | South Bend | West Michigan |

Midwest League 1997

Fort Wayne Wizards


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This page is a profile of the 1997 Fort Wayne Wizards, a Single-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins 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.


Fort Wayne, Indiana; affiliated with the Minnesota Twins.
Manager: Mike Boulanger (#20)
Coaches: Jeff Carter (#8), Stu Cliburn (#33) (Pitching)

High Attendance: 6,680 (July 4)
Low Attendance: 1,604 (April 17)
Average Attendance: 3,336
1996 Season Average: 3,334


Post-Season Wrapup

The Wizards field an interesting team every year, and this one was certainly not an exception. This year's squad had decent pitching, and while the hitting looked weak, it had some real strengths for manager Mike Boulanger to exploit. As always, this was the league's youngest team; as usual, they finished the season a lot stronger than they began.

The Twins mainly equipped this team with two kinds of position players: shortstops and designated hitters. Shortstop types Luis Rivas (SS), Cleatus Davidson (2B), and Anthony Felston (CF) are acrobats and base thieves. DH types Jake Patterson (DH), Tommy Peterman (OF), and Freddy Reyes (1B) are there to knock them in. Third baseman Rick Moss is very good, and a more normal athlete; catcher Chad Moeller was probably the best catcher in the league this year.

The Wizards pitchers are mostly decent; they've got good control and throw strikes. The low team ERA was a fair indicator of the staff's strength; the near-.500 won/lost record was a clue about the offense. Starter David Hooten's more effective than he looks on the mound, and reliever Chris Garza was nearly always effective.


MWL Fan's Guide

Team Leaders


  • Best Player on the Team: Third Baseman Rick Moss

  • Pitching: 68-67 (.504), 3.88, 5 CG, 12 Shutouts, 29 saves, 1003 Ks
  • Hitting: .255, 627 runs, 76 HR, 173 SB
  • First Half: 32-33 (.492), 4th, 15.0 behind
  • Second Half: 36-34 (.514), 2nd, 11.0 behind
  • After August 1: 15-15 (.500)
  • Defeated West Michigan in the first round of the playoff, 2-0 (Eastern Division)
  • Lost to Lansing in the second round of the playoff, 2-0

  • Best Starting Pitcher: David Hooten (2.61, 11-8, 166 IP, 138 Ks)
  • Bullpen Stopper: Chris Garza (2.08, 5-2, 15 saves, 95 IP, 90 Ks)
  • Best Strikeout Pitcher: Gary Dose (73 Ks in 67 innings)
  • Best Control Pitcher: Mike Bauder (96 Ks, 33 BB in 104 innings) or Corey Spiers (94 Ks, 33 BB in 120 innings)
  • Best Hitter: Rick Moss (.279, 76 runs, 27 doubles, 77 RBI, 60 walks)
  • Highest BA: Tommy Peterman (.293)
  • Home Run Leader: Jake Patterson (20)
  • Best Baserunner: Cleatus Davidson (39 steals, 8 triples) or Anthony Felston (45 steals)

July Evaluation

The Wizards are unremarkable, in general; the hitting's a bit below MWL norms and the pitching's a small notch above average. The pitching staff does not give up many homers. Righty Dave Hooten had a very good July, and has become one of the league's best starters. Reliever Chris Garza continues to be very effective. Shortstop Luis Rivas is gifted, young, but a somewhat erratic player. This team really has no star, but it plays generally solid baseball.


June Evaluation

The Wizards have a fine pitching staff; the hitting is about the league's average with good speed but little power. Third baseman Rick Moss is easily this team's best position player; shortstop Luis Rivas has great potential, but isn't really delivering on those gifts yet. Southpaw starter Kasey Richardson is having a fine year, and relievers Chris Garza and Charlie Gillian tend to absolutely shut down the opposition when they make it into the game.


May Evaluation

On the whole, the Wizards are putting average numbers up; the hitting and the pitching are unexceptional. Although the team has some basepath speed, they negate that with baserunning errors. The pitchers throw strikes, and should do well as the season goes along. Third baseman Rick Moss is becoming one of my favorite players, this season.


April Evaluation

The Wizards have fairly good pitching and league-average hitting.




Where they played last season

The heart of this years' Wizards team is last summer's excellent Elizabethton team, which finished fourth in the Appalachian League. Several players return from last year's Fort Wayne nine, and the roster was filled out from the Gulf Coast Twins.

Team           League         W/L   Place(Teams)  Hitters Pitchers
Fort Myers     Florida State  79-58     2(14)       0       1
Fort Wayne     Midwest        69-67     6(14)       5       3
Elizabethton   Appalachian    40-27     4(9)        7       8
Twins          Gulf Coast     30-30     9(16)       6       2

Several players are counted on two teams. Two players apparently did not play professional ball last summer.


  • Oldest Player:
    • Gary Dose (P), born 8-22-73 (23)
  • Youngest Player:
    • Luis Rivas (SS), born 8-30-79 (17)
  • Average Team Age:
    This information is based on early-season rosters.
    • Pitchers: 21.7
    • Position Players: 20.6
    • Team Average: 21.1

  • First Round Draftee:
    • none

  • Baseball America Top 100 Minor League Prospects
    • Luis Rivas (#55)
  • Baseball America Twins Prospects (Post-Season)
    • Luis Rivas (#1, best infield arm)
    • Cleatus Davidson (#12)
    • Anthony Felston (fastest baserunner)
    • Chad Moeller (best defensive catcher)
  • Baseball America Minor League All-Star/Top Prospects Teams
    • Luis Rivas (MWL Prospects #4)
  • Howe SportsData Post Season Wrapup
    • Luis Rivas (shortstop honorable mention, All Teenager Team)
  • 1997 Midwest League All Stars
    • Chad Moeller (catcher)
    • Chris Garza (left handed relief pitcher)
  • Baseball America Mid-Season Highlights
    • Chad Moeller (best MWL defensive catcher)
    • Luis Rivas (best MWL defensive shortstop, best MWL infield arm)
  • All-Star Game, June 17, Lansing
    • Cleatus Davidson (2B)
    • Chad Moeller (C starter)
    • Kasey Richardson (P)
    • Luis Rivas (SS starter)

  • Ceasar Bolivar
    • August 4: 2 homers, triple, 6 runs batted in
    • August 13: homer, double, 5 RBI (G1)
  • Cleatus Davidson
    • June 13: 4 for 5
    • August 4: 2 homers
    • August 15: double, triple
  • Anthony Felston
    • July 25: 3 steals
  • David Hooten
    • May 8: 3 hit shutout
    • June 4: 7.2 shutout innings
    • July 11: 7.0 shutout innings, 1 hit allowed
    • July 23: 3 hit shutout, 10 strikeouts
    • August 18: 6.0 shutout innings
    • August 28: 6.2 shutout innings
  • Heath Johnson
    • April 15: 2 homers
  • Manny Lopez
    • April 19: triple, homer
  • Bryan Malko
    • April 17: 4 strikeout inning
    • May 10: 6 shutout innings
  • Rick Moss
    • April 7: 4 for 5
    • May 6: double, triple
    • May 9: double, triple
    • June 23: double, home run
    • June 29: 4 for 5
  • Jake Patterson
    • May 17: 2 homers, 5 RBI
    • June 14: 2 homers
    • July 3: double, homer
    • July 13: homer, double, 5 RBIs
  • Tommy Peterman
    • June 13: 4 for 5
  • Nelson Prada
    • May 29: double, homer
  • Luis Reyes
    • June 29: 4 for 5
  • Kasey Richardson
    • May 11: 5 hit shutout
    • June 19: 7 shutout innings
  • Luis Rivas
    • Rivas was the youngest player in a full-season minor league.
    • April 29: double, triple
    • June 11: double, triple
  • Nate Yeskie
    • May 28: complete game, 10 strikeouts
    • August 19: complete game loss


Fort Wayne
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Overview


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
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