The official newsletter of the Santa Barbara Outlaws
exciting season comes to a close. As
predicted by the League Director, the Santa Barbara Outlaws put together another winning
season. Unfortunately for Santa Barbara fans,
the Outlaws did not repeat as AL West division champs.
The AL Wildcard spot is still a possibility, however.
The 2001 Outlaws Pitcher of the Year Award goes to Robb Nen. Nen was acquired this off season as a free agent to help bolster an already solid relief corps. Due to the uncertainty of last years closer John Rocker, Nen assumed the closers role and never looked back. In 60 games, Nen completed the season with an ERA of 2.04, which is quite a feat when one recognizes that he pitched his home games in the hitter friendly Oceanfront Stadium. He also notched 50 saves, a new Outlaws single season record. Congratulations Robb!
In one of this years tighter competitions, the 2001 Outlaw Most Valuable Player is awarded to Garrett Anderson. Garrett has been about as consistent as one can possibly get not only this season, but throughout his six-year career as an Outlaw. In 2001, he stepped up and put up incredible numbers to go along with his workhorse attitude. Garrett Anderson hit .312 with 41 doubles and 42 homeruns while driving in 122 runs. He also played a new position, firstbase. Although he committed his share of errors, he made the routine plays and allowed the Outlaws to DH Mo Vaughn everyday in order to lessen the wear and tear on Big Mos weak ankle. Anderson hopes to return to familiar ground in the outfield next season while continuing to put up consistent numbers. Thanks Garrett!
The 2001 Outlaw Rookie of the Year is Geoff Blum. Although Geoff only played three months due to his minor league call-ups, he provided consistency and a much-needed bat at shortstop. His offense and defense made fans forget long time shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who was allowed to walk to division rival Brooklyn during the Annual Draft due to a contract dispute. In three months, Blum hit .320 with 12 homeruns and 44 RBIs. A third basemen and second basemen throughout his minor league career, Geoff made only 5 errors at shortstop all season. His flexibility allows the Outlaws to consider him at any of the infield positions, as well as the outfield, in 2002. Welcome to BRASSball, Geoff!
As stated earlier by the Vaughn Nuest Annual Minor League Prospect Report, the Outlaws minor league players provided quite a bit of interest this season. The Report features those organizations with the top minor league talent. Although the Outlaws finished third in the report, team president Brian Budzyn was smiling.
Our minor league organization is top notch. Year after year, one or two of our guys make an impact at the major league level. The Report does not take all of the attributes of our minor league organization into account, so we are always under estimated and come out as the underdog. Thats what being an Outlaw is all about. Nobody gives em a chance in hell, but an Outlaw will fight for what he believes in no matter what he is told. They always seem a bit surprised when the dust clears and they see who remains standing. I love it.
Several players have matured to the level of everyday BRASSball status. But just where will these players fit in next season?
In my opinion, the most immediate impact will be made by Michael Barrett, Jacque Jones, and Robert Fick. But Javy Lopez and Mo Vaughn are blocking their path. On the mound, Matt Clement and Doug Davis showed promise this year during their BRASSball call-ups. They both will get an extended look next spring to crack the rotation.
Catcher: Michael Barrett and Wiki Gonzalez
Firstbase: Robert Fick, Erubiel Durazo, Eric Munson, and Adrian Gonzalez
Secondbase: Warren Morris
Thirdbase: Pedro Feliz
Shortstop: Gookie Dawkins
Leftfield: Jacque Jones
Centerfield: Milton Bradley
Rightfield: Adam Piatt and Chin-Feng Chen
Starters: Matt Clement, Doug Davis, Roy Halladay, Chris George, Adam Johnson, Tomo Ohka, Donnie Bridges
Relief: Byung-Hyun Kim and Mike Jackson