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2002 Scouting Report

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers


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2002 Teams
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Michigan
Peoria
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Wisconsin
  • Appleton, Wisconsin.
  • Affiliated with the Seattle Mariners.

This page profiles the 2002 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, a Single-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners and a member of the Midwest League.

  • Manager: Gary Thurman.
  • Coaches: Dana Williams, Brad Holman (pitching).

End of Season Profile

It's been several years since Appleton hosted such a weak team. Things started out well enough, but the team's weaknesses caught up with them and they never recovered from June's collapse. As a team, the Rattlers did little well; they were particularly bad at scoring runs, and the team's defense was poor. They did have a few interesting players for the fans to watch.

On this staff, only spot starter Ryan Ketchner's the sort of pitcher Seattle often sends to Wisconsin--a low-ERA strikeout pitcher with good control. Unfortunately, you still can't win if the rest of the team doesn't help. Starter Juan Done also pitched well. Both would have had strong seasons if they'd pitched for a team with an offense.

Unfortunately, only outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and third baseman Greg Dobbs hit consistently. Choo has lots of talent, though he's pretty reckless on the basepaths. First baseman Sean Peless, who had a generally poor season, joined Dobbs as the team's only power threats.


The Timber Rattlers used 23 position players and 18 pitchers during the 2002 season. Shortstop Corey Freeman made one appearance as a pitcher and is included in both counts.


Unless otherwise indicated, all statistics on this page are through the end of the season.

MWL Fan's Guide

Season Summary

  • Second Half: 23-47, .329 (8th place, 21.0 behind)
  • First Half: 30-39, .435 (5th place tie, 12.5 behind)
  • Pitching: 53-86, 4.01, 29 saves, 997 strikeouts
  • Hitting: .244, 531 runs, 61 HR, 124 steals (60% success)
  • Defense: 177 errors (1.27 per game); .692 defensive efficiency
  • April: 12-14 (.462)
  • May: 15-12 (.556)
  • June: 5-21 (.192)
  • July: 9-19 (.321)
  • August & September: 12-20 (.375)

Leading Players


  • Best Player on the Team: Outfielder Shin-soo Choo

  • Best Starting Pitcher: Juan Done (3.94, 9-13, 141 strikeouts)
  • Bullpen Stopper: no effective stopper
  • Strikeout Pitchers: Phil Cullen, Lanny Patten, Ryan Ketchner
  • Control Pitcher: Ryan Ketchner

  • Best Hitter: Shin-soo Choo (.302, 6 HR, 48 RBI)
  • Home Run Leader: Sean Peless (12)
  • High Batting Average: Shin-Soo Choo (.302)
  • High On Base Percentage: Shin-Soo Choo (.417)
  • High Slugging Percentage: none
  • Notable Baserunners: Shin-Soo Choo, Greg Dobbs, Miguel Villilo, Hunter Brown, Jay Rainey, John Cole
  • Notable Batting Eye: Alejandro Cadena

July Profile

Wisconsin collapsed at mid-season and shows few signs of recovering.

Outfielder Shin-soo Choo has an array of gifts--good speed, a decent batting eye, some hints of power--but has not yet put the pieces together. Third baseman Greg Dobbs, while too old to be a strong prospect, has played well all summer. The rest? First baseman Sean Peless has power but no plate discipline, while outfielder Jason Van Meetren runs well but can't hit. Hunter Brown, also a third baseman, has played very well in a dozen games.

By no means is this your typical Appleton team. After several seasons with strong pitching, this year sent a weak staff to the Fox Cities. The staff has some talent, but it's all in the bullpen. Particularly noteworthy are closer Lanny Patten, and spot starters Ryan Ketchner & Daniel Head.

The Timber Rattlers have scored 416 runs; their opponents have scored 526 runs.


June Profile

Then the wheels came off. The Timber Rattlers came completely unglued in June. They're not this bad, but a 21-loss month can be devastating. This remains a team with little depth, but with a mix of skills which can win against any team on any day. But if things go wrong, there's no one on the bench to fill the need.

Notable Midseason Losses: none.

Worth Watching: Catcher/DH Cip Garcia.


May Profile

The Timber Rattlers had a good month, and moved near enough the lead to threaten Peoria.

This is a team of mixed strengths and weaknesses. Generalizations about the team will miss that specific players have real strengths; this team looks average, overall, but the truth is that the talent is distributed is unusually. Truly noteworthy at the team level is the defense; these players have good range, but are prone to making errors.

After years of sending strikeout pitchers to Appleton, the Mariners have sent a very different pitching staff this summer. Except for utility pitcher Ramon Royce, these guys generally walk more hitters, and give up more singles, than seems healthy. They haven't been hurt bad, yet.

The lineup is generally solid. Third baseman Greg Dobbs is one of the MWL's best players; he's joined by outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, catcher Chris Collins, and first baseman Alejandro Cadena to anchor a lineup which fits together well and generates enough runs to win most games. The Rattlers run a lot, but not all of them run wisely.


April Profile

After I say they've scored fairly well, and that they make way too many errors, there's not much to tell about the Rattlers. Sean Peless hits the ball hard.


Pre-Season Profile

Manager

This is Gary Thurman's fourth season as a minor league skipper, and his third at Wisconsin. Thurman's a very conventional manager. In 2001, with a team of speedsters, he let them run at will.


First Round Draft Selection

  • none

Team Age Information

  • Average Team Age: 20.7
  • Pitchers: 20.5
  • Hitters: 20.9
  • Oldest Player on the Team: Infielder Greg Dobbs (born July 2, 1978)
  • Youngest Player on the Team: Pitcher Emiliano Fruto (born June 6, 1984)

The average player in the Midwest League this season is 21.6 years old. Average ages were calculated from the opening day roster; age as of July 1, 2002.

This website has more information about team ages.


Where they played last season

This is a brief portrait of how the team was put together. These summaries are based on the team's opening day roster and will not be revised to reflect roster changes.

Most of these guys played at Everett last season, though they've been filled in with players from around the Seattle system.

Team           League          W/L   Place    Hitters Pitchers
                                    (Teams)
San Bernardino California (A+) 76/64  3(10)       3      0
Wisconsin      Midwest (A)     84/52  2(14)       5      2
Everett        Northwest (A-)  36/39  5(8)        7     11
Mariners       Arizona (R)     34/22  2(7)        6      5

Many of these Seattle farmhands played at two levels last season and are counted twice in this table. Four did not play professionally during 2001; a fifth was in another organization last summer. One of Wisconsin's new players had an extended stay in Double-A and Triple-A ball; another appeared in two Triple-A games.



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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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