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Midwest League 2008

The Best Players

April brings strangers to our diamonds. Oh, there are familiar faces--Philippe Valiquette, Chris Parmelee, Preston Mattingly--on every roster, but the bulk of the players are mysteries. There are clues in last summer's short season statistics, in the draft lists, in the prospect books, on the web--but we don't really know who's out there until they take the field and start strutting their stuff.

Mid-May's a quarter of the way through the season, and things have begun to come into focus. We've learned our team's players' mannerisms, and begun to understand their strengths and weaknesses. We're also beginning to make sense of the League's other teams: This summer, for instance, it looks like Clinton's team might be something special. And L'King's first baseman Ian Gac may be posting the best player season since, perhaps, Aaron McNeal's 1999 MVP spectacle. Or maybe Joey Meyers' triple crown summer.


Around this time the league passes out All-Star ballots to the managers. And I take a couple evenings to sort through statistics, look around the league's websites, and write up what I find. Thus this page.

You may wish to compare this list to the MWL's All-Star Game selections.


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2008 Season
Summary
Highlights
League
MWL Fan's Guide

As long as I'm offering opinions:

  • Best Player? Clinton First Baseman Ian Gac. No contest.
  • Most Exciting Player? Clinton Shortstop Renny Osuna.
  • Best Pitcher? Kane County Starter Craig Italiano.

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. The best way to think of this list is that these are the players I want to see when their teams come to town.


Best Players for 2008

If I could pick a team of 25 Midwest League players (perhaps to play a Sally League All-Star team), that team would consist of:

  CATCHERS           Tm  Pos  G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB  OBP  SLG  AVG
  Sean Coughlin      SB  C   19  65 12 20  7  0  6  20 10  8  0 .400 .692 .308
  Jordan Newton      WM  C   22  90 13 27  6  6  0  13  3 13  2 .330 .500 .300
  Jair Fernandez     BEL C   23  82 12 27  7  0  1  13  5 13  0 .364 .451 .329

  INFIELDERS         Tm  Pos  G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB  OBP  SLG  AVG
  Larry Cobb         KC  2B  21  75  7 27  8  0  1   9  4 12  1 .398 .507 .360
  Todd Frazier       DAY SS  30 112 25 36 10  0  7  20 15 28  4 .402 .598 .321
  Ian Gac            CLI 1B  38 142 36 51 10  1 14  40 22 36  1 .462 .739 .359
  Renny Osuna        CLI SS  39 148 33 51  8  4  3  29 21 21  5 .423 .514 .345
  Jovan Rosa         PEO 1B  42 151 19 47 17  1  2  18 14 40  1 .385 .477 .311
  Brandon Waring     DAY 3B  44 165 28 45  9  0 10  28  9 61  1 .333 .509 .273  

  OUTFIELDERS        Tm  Pos  G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB  OBP  SLG  AVG
  Shane Buschini     FTW RF  19  67  8 20 10  0  1  11  7 21  0 .368 .493 .299
  Evan Frey          SB  CF  42 178 26 58  8  3  0  18 15 20  9 .372 .404 .326
  Keltavious Jones   DAY LF  38 138 27 39  5  3  3  14 21 28 11 .381 .428 .283
  Ben Revere         BEL CF  23  98 15 40  5  3  1  12  8  5 12 .453 .551 .408
  
  DESIGNATED HITTER  Tm  Pos  G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB  OBP  SLG  AVG
  Manny Rodriguez    LAN DH  35 140 15 48 17  1  4  35  2 29  0 .354 .564 .343

  PITCHERS           Tm  W L  ERA  G GS CG SHO SV IP    H  R ER BB SO HLD GF
  Michael Anton      CR  6 2 1.72  9  9  2   2  0 62.2 43 12 12 13 39   0  0
  Alfredo Figaro     WM  6 1 1.09  9  9  1   1  0 58.0 33 10  7 21 55   0  0
  Kyle Ginley        LAN 5 0 1.24  6  6  0   0  0 36.1 40 10  5  6 36   0  0
  Kennil Gomez       CLI 7 1 2.52  9  9  0   0  0 50.0 38 22 14 10 41   0  0
  Craig Italiano     KC  6 0 0.80  9  9  0   0  0 45.0 28  9  4 20 57   0  0
  Steve  Johnson     GL  5 2 2.39  9  9  0   0  0 49.0 38 15 13 15 40   0  0
  Jonathan Kibler    WM  4 1 2.06  7  7  1   0  0 48.0 27 14 11  9 40   0  0
  Travis Mortimore   WIS 1 1 0.59 14  0  0   0  0 15.1  7  2  1  6 13   7  4
  Michael Pineda     WIS 3 1 0.78  8  5  0   0  0 34.2 26  3  3  9 28   0  0
  Jackson Quezada    FTW 1 1 2.57 18  0  0   0  8 21.0 15  7  6  9 23   1 14
  Miguel Ramirez     GL  1 1 0.00 16  0  0   0 10 19.2 14  3  0  9 18   0 15

  • 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 23, 2008.
  • Batting Order
    • Renny Osuna, SS
    • Larry Cobb, 2B
    • Ian Gac, 1B
    • Manny Rodriguez, DH
    • Brandon Waring, 3B
    • Sean Coughlin, C
    • Ben Revere, CF
    • Shane Buschini, RF
    • Keltavious Jones, LF
  • Rotation
    • Craig Italiano
    • Kennil Gomez
    • Kyle Ginley
    • Michael Anton
    • Alfredo Figaro
  • Short Relief
    • Miguel Ramirez
    • Travis Mortimore

  • Some selections are simple: Sean Coughlin's easily, and obviously, been the MWL's best-hitting catcher through late May. Craig Italiano looks like he's in the wrong league. And Manny Rodriguez deserves to be on the team even though he rarely appears on defense.
  • Some is not simple: At this point in the season, ranking the pitchers involves a certain amount of guesswork. That said, there are some excellent hurlers in this year's MWL crop.
  • Defense plays virtually no role in these selections. That's not because I don't care about defense; it's because I've too little information to properly assess the league's best defenders. Wish I could solve this.
  • The last cuts: West Michigan CF Kyle Peter, Fort Wayne 2B Andy Parrino, Kane County CF Corey Brown, Lansing P Edgar Estanga, and Dayton P Enario Del Rosario would be on this list if I'd not limited myself to 25 players.
  • Kyle Ginley and Todd Frazier have already been promoted. Others on this list will certainly follow around mid-season.
  • Of course there's room for disagreement. That's what makes this fun.
  • Obviously, this is just my opinion.



Season Details
Index
Overview
Best Players
All-Stars
Team Age

Best Players
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997


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.