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Midwest League 2004

The Best Players

Here's the question: If you could select a 25-player roster from the current MWL staff, which 25 would you choose? Here are my selections, as of late May, 2004.

By mid-May, we've begun to understand our teams, and the players who compose them. We know which teams seem to have the best talent. We've begun to recognize the strongest pitchers, the fastest baserunners, the slick fielders, the power threats. Late in the month, I find a few hours and make a list. Among other things, this gives me an opportunity consider the players apart from their teams, and make some sense of what we're watching.

These are strictly my opinions. The MWL All-Star team, which reflects the managers' opinions on a similar question, will be published a few days after this listing.


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27may04
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2004 Season
Summary
Highlights
League
MWL Fan's Guide

As long as I'm offering opinions:

  • Best Player? Clinton's Ian Kinsler. No one else is even close.
    • Most exciting? Juan Senreiso, also at Clinton, is the guy I like to watch.
  • Best Pitcher? Lansing's Sean Marshall, until he got promoted.
    • Kane County's Steve Bondurant's the best who's still in the league.

Everyday Starters

Here are the players I'd use every day. A complete roster, with full statistics, is presented at the bottom of the page.

  • Batting Order
    • Juan Senreiso, Clinton, RF
    • Melky Cabrera, Battle Creek, CF
    • Ian Kinsler, Clinton, SS
    • Kevin Collins, Lansing, LF
    • Eric Duncan, Battle Creek, 3B
    • Joey Votto, Dayton, 1B
    • Vinny Rottino, Beloit, DH
    • David Castillo, Kane County, C
    • Howie Kendrick, Cedar Rapids, 2B
  • Starting Rotation
    • Sean Marshall, Lansing
    • Steve Bondurant, Kane County
    • Dusty Hughes, Burlington
    • William Juarez, South Bend
    • Jared Liebeck, South Bend
  • Short Relief
    • Jairo Garcia, Kane County
    • Paul Thorp, Battle Creek

Disclaimer: This isn't a list of prospects. It's a list of players having excellent seasons; most of them are "prospects," but that wasn't a consideration.


Best Players for 2004

If I could pick a team of 25 Midwest League players (perhaps to play a Sally League All-Star team), this is the team I'd select:

  CATCHERS           Tm  Bats Pos  G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB  AVG  OBP  SLG
  David Castillo     KC  R    C   42 151 35 47 11  0  6  25 33 23  0 .311 .444 .503
  Lou Palmisano      BEL R    C   42 147 29 47  8  2  2  27 18 36  2 .320 .415 .442

  INFIELDERS         Tm  Bats Pos  G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB  AVG  OBP  SLG
  Eric Duncan        BC  L    3B  43 152 26 46 13  0  8  32 23 39  4 .303 .400 .546
  Howie Kendrick     CR  R    2B  37 158 36 53 14  2  3  18  3 24  9 .335 .358 .506
  Ian Kinsler        CLI R    SS  44 169 39 67 23  0  6  37 20 29 13 .396 .461 .639
  Brian Snyder       KC  R    3B  42 158 23 50  8  3  4  32 30 37  1 .316 .426 .481
  Joey Votto         DAY L    1B  43 151 22 46  8  0  5  28 30 48  2 .305 .420 .457
  Brandon Wood       CR  R    SS  41 157 26 45 11  2  6  27 18 41  5 .287 .372 .497

  OUTFIELDERS        Tm  Bats Pos  G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB  AVG  OBP  SLG
  Melky Cabrera      BC  B    OF  42 171 35 51 16  3  0  16 15 23  7 .333 .383 .462
  Kevin Collins      LAN L    OF  42 146 27 49 11  1 13  38 14 36  1 .336 .405 .692
  Jordan Pickens     FW  R    OF  32 122 27 36 10  0  8  23 11 37  0 .295 .383 .574
  Juan Senreiso      CLI R    OF  40 155 26 49 11  2  3  28 21 36 16 .329 .408 .484
  
    DESIGNATED HITTER  Tm  Bats Pos  G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB  AVG  OBP  SLG
  Vinny Rottino      BEL R    DH  44 168 23 54 11  5  5  31  5 25  1 .321 .345 .536

  
  PITCHERS           Tm  Th W L  ERA  G GS CG SHO SV IP    H  R ER BB SO
  Steven Bondurant   KC  L  8 2 2.40 10 10  1   1  0 60.0 43 21 16 13 65
  John Danks         CLI L  3 1 1.42 11  5  0   0  0 38.0 26  9  6  8 54
  Julio DePaula      QC  R  6 2 1.67 16  0  0   0  2 32.1 18  7  6 10 34
  Jairo Garcia       KC  R  1 0 0.45 17  0  0   0 11 20.0  9  1  1  3 34
  Dusty Hughes       BUR L  4 2 1.58  8  8  0   0  0 52.0 39 12  9 15 36
  William Juarez     SB  R  3 1 1.55  7  7  0   0  0 46.1 38 10  8  7 47
  Ryan Klatt         FW  R  4 0 3.24 21  0  0   0  1 25.0 16 10  9  6 29
  Brad Knox          KC  R  4 2 1.79  8  8  0   0  0 50.1 39 15 10  9 68
  Jered Liebeck      SB  R  3 0 0.84  8  4  0   0  0 32.0 12  4  3  7 39
  Sean Marshall      LAN L  2 0 1.11  7  7  1   1  0 48.2 29  7  6  4 51
  Micah Posey        CR  L  5 0 2.51  8  7  1   1  0 46.2 33 14 13 11 31
  Paul Thorp         BC  R  0 0 0.00 15  0  0   0 10 19.0 10  0  0  1 17

Notes

Several of these players have been promoted.

The most surprising thing about this list is the general weakness of all MWL teams at first base this summer. Joey Votto's a fine player, as is Brian Dopirak (who's not listed here), but neither's an MVP candidate. That's pretty unusual. [Note 5/26/2007: I was wrong about both; they were definitely MVP candidates....]


Of course there's room for disagreement. That's what makes this fun.

  • These are my May 25 opinions, and are subject to change. I won't post updated opinions on this page, but may post them elsewhere on the site.
  • Stats shown are through May 25, 2004.


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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.


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