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Midwest League 1999

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers


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This page profiles the 1999 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, a Single-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners and a member of the Midwest League.

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

  • Appleton, Wisconsin.
  • Affiliated with the Seattle Mariners.
  • Manager: Steve Roadcap.
  • Coaches: Steve Peck (pitching), Omer Munoz.

Post-Season Profile

Let's give Steve Roadcap some credit: His early-season decisions weren't working, so he arranged his talent differently, particularly on the mound. The rearranged assignments certainly paid off well; this team had a very fine second season. Bo Robinson, a very talented hitter, was the team's star. Juan Silvestre anchored the lineup, while P.J. Williams and Ramon Valera set the table. On the pitching side: Chris Mears was outstanding until he got promoted, then a number of talented arms chipped in. Although the bullpen was a committee, there were some impressive arms out there. By season's end, the defense was playing respectable baseball, too; that helped.

In all, another strong season for Appleton's team. I, and nearly everyone else, wrote this team off early in the season; they didn't seem to have the horses. Guess they showed us....


MWL Fan's Guide

Season Summary

  • First Half: 32-36 (.471), 4th place, 12.5 behind
  • Second Half: 40-30 (.571), 1st place, 2.0 ahead
  • Pitching: 72-66, 4.09, 29 saves, 1110 strikeouts
  • Hitting: .268, 721 runs, 90 HR, 122 steals (63% success)
  • Errors: 184 (1.33 per game)
  • April: 12-9 (.571)
  • May: 10-18 (.357)
  • June: 12-13 (.480)
  • July: 20-9 (.690)
  • August: 13-16 (.448)
  • September: 5-1 (.833)

  • Best Player on the Team: Third Baseman Bo Robinson

  • Best Starting Pitcher: Chris Mears (10-1, 2.43, 76 strikeouts)
  • Bullpen Stopper: no bullpen stopper
  • Strikeout Pitchers: Clint Chrysler, Enmanuel Ulloa, Justin Dunning
  • Control Pitcher: Chris Mears, Scott Atchison, Josue Matos

  • Best Hitter: Bo Robinson (.329, 13 HR, 102 RBI)
  • Home Run Leader: Juan Silvestre (21)
  • High Batting Average: Bo Robinson (.329), Carlos Maldonado (.308)
  • High On Base Percentage: Bo Robinson (.446), Vaughn Schill (.442)
  • High Slugging Percentage: Bo Robinson (.519), Juan Silvestre (.485)
  • Notable Baserunners: P.J. Williams, Larry Haynes, Ramon Valera, Vaughn Schill, Bo Robinson
  • Notable Batting Eye: Carlos Maldonado, Bo Robinson

July Profile

The Timber Rattlers have scored 532 runs this season while permitting their opponents just 466 runs. This team had an excellent July; perhaps the rearranged pitching staff is the answer.

Third baseman Bo Robinson is having a terrific season and can hurt any pitcher. The batting order has no weaknesses; outfielders Juan Silvestre and Fernando Espino supply power, while outfielder P.J. Williams and shortstop Ramon Valera provide basepath speed.

Manager Steve Roadcap's reassigned the pitching roles, and it's certainly worked out nicely. All of the current starters are effective; Josue Matos is finally pitching up to potential, and Enmanuel Ulloa's been moved into the rotation. Aaron Looper and Clint Chrysler are the best of the strong bullpen corps.


June Profile

Appleton's team is pretty much average, but their up-and-down season has tended to disguise that. They're afflicted with a poor defense, and their baserunning habits are damaging.

Third Baseman Bo Robinson and outfielder Juan Silvestre are excellent hitters; Robbie has an excellent mix of skills, while Silvestre has developed into a serious power source. The rest of the offense is pretty unremarkable.

The Rattlers are rebuilding their pitching staff. The best starter, now, is the promising but inconsistent Melqui Torres; Josue Matos may be the more talented pitcher, though. The bullpen's loaded with strikeout pitchers, of whom Clint Chrysler seems to be the best.

Notable mid-season losses: Starter Chris Mears has been promoted to Lancaster.

Also worth watching: Pitcher Julio Mateo has been impressive in a few short stints.


May Profile

The Rattlers have a hard time pushing runs across, partially because they're terrible on the basepaths, and their pitching, while adequate, is not up to Appleton's recent standards. This isn't a very good team.

Third baseman Bo Robinson is hitting very well, and has excellent strike zone judgment. Outfielder Juan Silvestre is a little impatient at the plate but has excellent power. That's pretty much the offensive story.

The pitching story's similar. Starter Chris Mears is tied for the MWL wins lead, and has been really a dominant pitcher so far. Enmanuel Ulloa, a short reliever whose role resembles closing, has good tools but is pitching poorly. Short relievers Clint Chrysler and Aaron Looper show some promise. None of the other pitchers merits discussion.


April Profile

Average pitching, average hitting, and bad defense; the Rattlers probably aren't going to dominate this season. The pitchers do have good control, but aren't otherwise remarkable.


Pre-Season Profile

Manager

Steve Roadcap has managed in the low minors for the past 11 years; 5 of those seasons were spent in the Midwest League. He's far more likely to let a pitcher complete a game than most MWL managers; he's also more likely than most to adapt his strategies to the talent he has at hand.


Where they played last season

These comments and table are based on opening day rosters.

Although many of the new Rattlers appeared at least briefly in Appleton last summer, at heart this is Everett's 1998 team.

Team      League          W/L   Place    Hitters Pitchers
                               (Teams)
Lancaster California (A+) 78-62  3(10)      2       0
Wisconsin Midwest (A)     72-65  5(14)      7       5
Everett   Northwest (A-)  34-42 5T(8)       7       7
Mariners  Arizona (R)     31-24  2(8)       2       3

The Mariners move their farmhands around quite a bit, so several players are counted more than once in this table. Three of the Rattlers had brief stops in AA ball last year, and another appeared in three AAA games. One new T'Rat did not play professionally last summer.


First Round Draft Selection

  • None.

Returning to the Midwest League

Members of last summer's Wisconsin team.

  • Clint Chrysler (P, 17 games)
  • Fernando Espino (49 games)
  • Larry Haynes (5 games)
  • Carlos Maldonado (7 games)
  • Victor Martinez (5 games)
  • Jose Moreno (84 games)
  • Donnie Schmidt (P, 42 games)
  • Juan Silvestre (106 games)
  • Allan Simpson (P, 19 games)
  • Enmanuel Ulloa (P, 3 games)
  • Peanut Williams (71 games)
  • Craig Willis (P, 13 games)

Oldest & Youngest Timber Rattlers

On opening day, the average age of the Rattlers was 21.5 years. Follow this link for more information about MWL team ages.

  • Oldest player on the team: Ivan Montane (born June 3, 1973)
  • Youngest player on the team: Ruben Castillo (born August 16, 1980)


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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.

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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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