Lugnuts Notes: The Beloit Snappers

Four games at Pohlman Field in Beloit, Wisconsin.

The Snappers are affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers and are locally (“community”) owned.

The National Association’s page [no longer available in that form] for the Snappers is typical of their efforts. Timothy Prentiss also offers a Snappers Page [gone]; perhaps you want to capture the team logo in several sizes here but the information on the page is obsolete. The Beloit Daily News [link was to old front page] covers the team on the web, as part of its other coverage. There’s a review of Pohlman Field on Dustin Schubert’s Single-A Ballparks page [do I need to repeat that I miss this site?].

The Snappers are managed by Luis Salazar (#3); his coaches are Bill Campbell and John Mallee.

The Ballpark

Harry Pohlman Field is a small field by any measure: It seats only about 3,100 fans and its dimensions are 325-380-325. There’s a picnic deck down the right field line. STATS says it favors power hitters but isn’t particularly a hitters park. It’s a cozy, suburban ballpark, built on the edge of town in 1981.

Directions: Leave I-90 at the Shopierre exit (81 West). Turn right at Cranston Road (the first light) to the ballpark. There’s limited free parking at the park, but lots of street parking nearby.

The Team

Statistics are thru Independence Day.

All-Stars: Mike Kinkade (3B), Peter Benny (P), Valerio de los Santos (P).

The Snappers finished fourth in the Central Division with a 31-35 (.470) record for the first half-season; they’re now in the division cellar at 5-9 (,357)–tied with Wisconsin, four games out of first.

Historically, the Brewers have fielded a small but extremely successful farm system. It’s “successful” in the sense that the teams win games and pennants; it’s less successful as a player development system. (This farm system is a topic for debate in some circles.) The team has long-standing relationships with the ownerships of all its farms. Those include the Snappers (easily our league’s best team in 1995 at 88-51/.633), the Helena Brewers of the (Rookie) Pioneer League (44-28/.611 for second of eight) and the Chandler Brewers of the (Rookie) Arizona League (34-22/.604, third of six). The position players for this year’s Snappers are drawn from both Rookie teams; the pitchers mostly played for Helena last season.

In general, this is a poor-hitting team. Third Baseman Mike Kinkade (.279-9-51; 65 runs, 14 steals) is an excellent hitter and general offensive threat. Second baseman Ryan Ritter is really quick; lots of triples and steals for this season. First baseman Kevin Noriega and outfielder Anthony Iapoce have good BAs, while outfielder David Elliott draws quite a few walks for no reason I can see.

The pitching resembles Lansing’s. Southpaw Valerio De los Santos is among the league’s leaders in wins (8) and is third in strikeouts (96). Righty Peter Benny has decent stats, but not to get excited about. Tony Pavlovich is being used as a closer, without great success; Darren Berninger, also being used in relief, has had some success with weaker stats. Lefty Jason Dawsey doesn’t seem to have a set role but does show promise; his strikeout pitch is effective.