67-95 (.414); 2nd place in NL West
1B Fred McGriff, OF Brian Jordan, SP Jason Bere
1B Will Clark, C Darrin Fletcher, OF Troy OLeary, 1B Richie Sexson, RHP Mike D. Williams
Although the team finished in second place, it was a long year for North Georgia. The Yellow Jackets finished 46 games behind division-winning Ocala, and only finished in second place because Gem City (59-103) and Metropolis (27-135) struggled even more. North Georgia never factored into the Wild Card race either, finishing 22 games behind the Columbus Buckeyes for the final post-season berth.
The teams best players were C Darrin Fletcher (.291, 15 HR, 50 RBI), 1B Will Clark (.327, 18 HR, 70 RBI) and RHP Jon Lieber (14-15, 4.67 ERA, 183 K). Fletcher has since left via free agency and Clark has retired.
Faced with the loss of many of its 2001 batters, North Georgia was relatively busy in free agency during the off-season. Among others, the team signed 1B Fred McGriff (.253, 19 HR, 78 RBI) and OF Brian Jordan (.234, 12 HR, 81 RBI). Because both players are coming off sub-par 2001 seasons, North Georgia signed both for a reasonable price.
That is important for North Georgia, because a rebuilding process is now needed for the Yellow Jackets. Talented minor leaguers such as OF Corey Patterson, 1B Jason Hart, 3B Mark Teixeira and RHP Pat Strange will soon be ready to contribute, but likely not until the 2004 season. In the meantime North Georgia will need to develop its prospects, trade its veteran commodities for young players and look to the draft for upside talent.
In the meantime, veterans like Jordan and McGriff will simply need to buy time for the next generation of North Georgia Yellow Jackets.
SS Edgar Renteria
3B Placido Polanco
RF Brian Jordan
1B Fred McGriff
DH Ron Coomer
LF Shane Spencer
C Brent Mayne
CF Doug Glanville
2B Luis Alicea