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1998 West: | Burlington | Cedar Rapids | Clinton | Quad City |

Midwest League 1998

Clinton LumberKings


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1998 Teams
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This page is a profile of the 1998 Clinton LumberKings, a Single-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres and a member of the Midwest League. The main object of this page was to give clues about which players you should watch when the LKings visited each team; this page was first published in April and was updated through the season.

Except when another date is specified, statistics on this page are through the end of the season.


Clinton, Iowa; affiliated with the San Diego Padres.
Manager: Tom LeVasseur
Coaches: Dan Simonds, Tony Phillips (pitching)

High Attendance: 1,844 (July 25)
Low Attendance: 139 (June 6)
Average Attendance: 695 (through end of season)
1997 Season Average: 781
Note: These unofficial numbers may have errors.


Post-Season Profile

The LumberKings played decent ball after the All-Star break, and were playing well as the season ended, but they were the weakest team in the championship tournament. Although there was some talent on the squad, this was a poor-hitting team with a mediocre pitching staff.

Kevin Eberwein was the team's one offensive talent; he showed good power and hit for a decent percentage in a partial season. Kevin Burford and Johnny Hunter are good players, despite Hunter's miserable batting average, but beyond these three there was virtually nothing.

The L-Kings had three quality starters and an excellent reliever, so if things fell right they could win any series. Brian Lawrence, Rick Guttormson, and Wascar Serrano are very good as a "big three", and Shawn Camp is a very talented bullpen pitcher. Lawrence, in particular, looks like a special pitcher; in this year of exceptional MWL pitching, he was a hidden gem.


MWL Fan's Guide

Team Profile

Season Summary

  • First Half: 30-40 (.429), 4th, 9.5 behind
  • Second Half: 35-33 (.515), 2nd, 2.0 behind
  • Pitching: 65-73, 3.95, 21 saves, 1020 strikeouts
  • Hitting: .239, 592 runs, 66 HR, 194 steals
  • April: 8-10 (.444)
  • May: 13-18 (.419)
  • June: 13-14 (.481)
  • July: 9-18 (.333)
  • August: 17-11 (.607)
  • September: 5-2 (.714)
  • Playoff Round 1: Defeated Quad City, 2-1
  • Playoff Round 2: Lost to West Michigan, 0-2

  • Best Player on the Team: Starting Pitcher Brian Lawrence

  • Best Starting Pitcher: Brian Lawrence (5-3, 2.80, 79 strikeouts)
  • Bullpen Stopper: Shawn Camp (3-5, 2.62, 13 saves, 62 strikeouts)
  • Best Strikeout Pitcher: Shawn Camp
  • Best Control Pitcher: Brian Lawrence

  • Best Hitter: Kevin Eberwein (.296, 42 runs, 10 HR, 38 RBI, 4 steals)
  • Highest BA: Kevin Eberwein (.296)
  • Home Run Leader: Kevin Eberwein, Johnny Hunter (10)
  • Best Baserunner: Johnny Hunter (36 steals)
  • Best Batting Eye: Clay Snellgrove

July Profile

It's hard to believe, but Clinton's July was even worse than May. They do run well. On this sort of team, you follow a couple good players....

Rick Guttormson's having a terrific year; he's one of the league's best pitchers and has 9 of his team's 43 wins. Shawn Camp pitches very well when he gets in the game, but this team offers virtually no opportunities for a closer to shine. Kevin Burford--a quality player, not an offensive star--is the only proven productive hitter on the squad.

One more to watch: Third baseman Kevin Eberwein.


June Profile

The LumberKings are a sad, sad, team; past a handful of decent pitchers and outfielder Kevin Burford, there's not much here. They don't hit well; most of 'em pitch pretty poorly.

The only L-King hitter having a good season is Kevin Burford. Johnny Hunter's got some speed, and gets lots of walks, but honestly isn't hitting well. Matt Halloran's still not delivering. There's some value on the pitching staff, though; Rick Guttormson and Shawn Camp are excellent talents, while Harry Herndon, Wascar Serrano, and Wilbert Ortega are pitching well.


May Profile

The hitting improved a bit, but the pitching collapsed. And the Padres traded Rod Lindsey to Detroit. If anything, this team's got worse....

Outfielder Kevin Burford and third baseman Jake Thrower are talented ballplayers, but the rest of the offensive squad is marginal. Rick Guttormson, whose role is unclear, is easily the best pitcher, though Wascar Serrano and Harry Herndon are pitching well enough to win with decent run support. Jerry Parent--an outfielder last summer--shows some promise on the mound, but he's still pretty wild.

Rod Lindsey's now with West Michigan. Since I panned his hitting last month, I should acknowledge that his May was terrific.


April Profile

This isn't the squad to save the franchise. Some of the pitchers are excellent, but the offense is a disaster. Kevin Burford's .314 has no power, and he doesn't walk much. Rodney Lindsey can't hit any better than he could last season, and his speed is probably this team's best weapon. The pitchers can usually keep the game close, but everyone needs some run support....


Pre-Season Profile

Manager

Manager Tom LeVasseur has managed in the minors for 3 years, mainly in short-season leagues. This is his second season at Clinton. LeVasseur likes to let his team run, but only occasionally calls for bunts. He'll let a strong pitcher finish the game, but removes most pitchers early. He does not believe in issuing intentional walks.

Where they played last season

This year's LumberKings squad has some resemblance to last summer's Idaho Falls squad.

Team             League         W/L    Place    Hitters Pitchers
                                      (Teams)
Rancho Cucamonga California (A) 77-63   2(10)       1       0
Clinton          Midwest (A)    65-71  10(14)       7       3
Idaho Falls      Pioneer (R)    39-32   2(8)       10       9
Peoria AZ        Arizona (R)    25-30   5(6)        2       3

Two LKings played in independent leagues last summer; another played in the Mexican League. No current LumberKing player has appeared above Class A. The Padres moved many of these players during the 1997 season; moved players are counted more than once on the table.

Team Age

This information is based on the opening-day roster.

  • Oldest Player:
    • Angel Aragon, 24
  • Youngest Player:
    • Junior Herndon, 19 (9/11/78)
  • Average Team Age:
    • Pitchers: 21.5
    • Position Players: 21.9
    • Team Average: 21.7

First Round Draftee

  • Matt Halloran (1996, 15th pick)

Honors

  • Kevin Burford
    • 1998 Midwest League All-Star Game selection
    • Baseball America 1997 Draft Analysis: 5th best debut of all college players drafted; 5th best hitter drafted by anyone
    • Baseball America San Diego Prospect Report: #13 prospect
    • 1997 Arizona Rookie League: batting average and runs batted in champ, on base percentage leader, All-Star outfielder, Most Valuable Player, #2 prospect
  • Shawn Camp
    • 1997 Pioneer League: saves leader, All-Star relief pitcher
  • Matt Halloran
    • Baseball Weekly 1997 Prospect Report: "Up and Coming"
  • Junior Herndon
    • Baseball America Padres Post-Season Prospect Summary: keep an eye on
  • Brian Lawrence
    • Midwest League Pitcher of the Week for August 2-8
    • Midwest League Pitcher of the Week for July 5-11
  • Rod Lindsey
    • Baseball America San Diego Prospect Report: fastest baserunner
    • 1997 Midwest League: steals leader
  • Wascar Serrano
    • Topps/NAPBL Midwest League Player of the Month for August
    • 1998 Midwest League All-Star Game selection
    • Baseball America San Diego Prospect Report: #12 prospect
    • 1997 Arizona Rookie League: #5 prospect
  • Clay Snellgrove
    • Baseball America 1997 Draft Analysis: best defensive player
    • 1997 Pioneer League: All-Star second baseman


Clinton
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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
Some Rights Reserved.