Astros Class-A Report: Quad Cities River Bandits (July 12-17)
Astros prospect Jamie Ritchie‘s solid play for Quad Cities has earned him a mid-season promotion. He follows recently advanced River Bandits teammates Jacob Nottingham and Derek Fisher to the California League, and keeps the talent moving up the ladder. The team he left behind went 3-2 for the week, for a 13-9 second half record (58-32 overall), and a tie for second place in the Western Division.
Ritchie was promoted on July 16 to High-A Lancaster. The Midwest League All-Star was hitting .266 with four home runs, 27 RBI, and a Midwest League leading OBP of .428, in 72 games. The 22-year-old catcher was a thirteenth round, 2014 draft pick by the Astros, and had hit .331 with a .455 OBP in 2014 in 47 games for the Tri-City Valley Cats (NY/Penn League) in his first professional season after playing for Belmont University. Ritchie is yet another in a steady stream of Astros minor league players that are moving up in the system.
River Bandit’s manager Josh Bonifay and Coach Tim Garland, along with Burlington Bees manager Chad Tracy, were ejected from the game on July 13 after a shouting match. According to David Wild’s MiLB.com story, Managers Tracy, Bonifay ejected in dispute, Garland objected to comments from Bees shortstop Erick Salcedo, and it got ugly from there. Both benches cleared, with Bandits players and umpires doing their best to prevent the impending brawl.
The River Bandits are first walks in the Midwest League and OBP (.348), second in runs (420), RBI (382), and OPS (.734).
The pitching staff leads the league in wins (58), ERA (2.69), and WHIP (1.15), second in shutouts (9), saves (29), fewest hits allowed (677), fewest runs (297), fewest earned runs (240), and second fewest home runs (32).
This week, the River Bandits host the Cedar Rapids Kernels for a three game home stand. They begin a nine game road trip on July 21.
The cover photo is courtesy of @QCBanditPhotog.
- RHP Justin Ferrell took a no-hitter into the eighth inning on July 12 against Burlington.
- RHP Elieser Hernandez was promoted to Quad Cities from Tri-City (NY/Penn League). He was 0-1 with a 1.31 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, two walks, and 30 strikeouts in five games, 20.2 innings.
- RHP David Paulino was named Midwest League pitcher of the week for July 6-12. In one start, Paulino threw six innings, gave up five hits, no runs or walks, and struck out eight.
- Paulino continued his great pitching with three perfect innings, and four no-hit innings on July 13 against Burlington.
- OF Drew Ferguson was promoted on July 14 to Quad Cities from Tri-City in the NY/Penn League. Ferguson was batting .328 in 17 games with the Valley Cats. He had eight walks against four strikeouts, a .418 OBP, .586 slugging percentage, and a 1.004 OPS. The 22-year-old 2015, 19th round draft pick hit .394 in his last ten games, and had no errors since joining Tri-City in June.
- OF Bobby Boyd stole three bases on July 15 against Wisconsin.
- New Bandits pitcher Elieser Hernandez, in his Midwest League debut, threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits, no walks, and struck out five.
- Left fielder Drew Ferguson, also in his first game with the River Bandits, went 2-4 and got the game winning RBI in the same game.
- C Garrett Stubbs was promoted on July 16 to Quad Cities from Tri-City. He was batting .235 in 11 games with the Valley Cats.
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