In today’s Astros Minor League update, we take a look at the Quad Cities River Bandits. The Low-A minor league affiliate has been a great springboard for the Astros vaunted prospect parade over the last couple of years. While rising stars, Joe Musgrove and Derek Fisher have recently been promoted to Lancaster in high-A ball, there is still plenty of talent getting off to a great start in their professional careers playing in the Quad Cities.
Jacob Nottingham, the catcher/1B/DH for the River Bandits, is the top offensive prospect on the team. He has been hot of late with a .341 batting average over the last 10 games. He has eight homers, 36 RBI and a .964 OPS to accompany his .335 batting average on the year. Nottingham is a big right handed hitter, standing at 6’3″ and 200 pounds. It will be interesting to see his progress as he continues to get stronger and more experienced, as he is still just 20 years old.
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Akeem Bostick is an imposing figure on the mound. He leverages his 6’6″ height and 215 pound weight to dominate hitters. On the year, he is 3-1 with an outstanding 1.45 ERA and 0.74 WHIP. That’s really good, if you didn’t know. Akeem is the brother of former Packers tight end Brandon Bostick who botched a critical on-side kick recovery in the NFC championship last year. However, if Akeem can continue to pitch with this amount of effectiveness, his notoriety will simply be related to his own success. Bostick is only 20 and could be just scratching the surface of his pitching prowess.
The last player to be highlighted here is 19 year-old right hander Francis Martes. Acquired in the Jarred Cosart trade that saw the Astros receive third base prospect Colin Moran and starting center fielder Jake Marisnick, Martes may have been the steal of the trade. 2014 saw him average more than a strikeout an inning between Miami and Houston minor leagues. So far in 2015, he is sporting a tidy 1.50 ERA. He was ranked as the Astros 21st best prospect according to MLB.com before the 2015 season. We’ll continue to update his progress right here on Climbing Tal’s Hill.
The River Bandits as a group have been red hot this season. They are 39-18, winning at a .684 clip. Obviously, that is good for the best record in the Midwest League. While they are playing well now, they could get even better in a hurry after the stellar amateur draft by the Astros, especially with them adding Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker at #2 and #5, respectively. The less experienced and younger players selected by Astros GM Jeff Luhnow will likely play at either rookie ball or low-A in 2015.
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