Astros #4 Prospect Kyle Tucker Continues To Improve

Kyle Tucker, Quad Cities River Bandits, Photo courtesy @QCBanditPhotog.
Kyle Tucker, Quad Cities River Bandits, Photo courtesy @QCBanditPhotog. /

Astros Class-A Report: Quad Cities River Bandits (April 24-30)

Astros prospect Kyle Tucker is off to a good start at Class-A Quad Cities. Through twenty-one games, the younger brother of Astros outfielder/DH Preston Tucker is hitting .263/.353/.382. He leads the River Bandits in hits, total bases, and walks (20, 29, 11), has two doubles, two triples, a home run, and eight RBI.

Bandits batters are striking out at an alarming rate. Over the first 22 games (through April 29), they are second in the Midwest League in K’s with 206, trailing the Great Lakes Loons (Dodgers) by one. Although Quad Cities has improved a bit in the standings, the strikeouts continue to hurt them. River Bandits batters have struck out more than eight times in a game 12 times in 2016, averaging 9.4 K’s per game. This is not unexpected considering the inexperience at this level, and hopefully, these guys can get a handle on it. The biggest offenders are Daz Cameron (33 K’s, also leads the league), Aaron Mizell (25), and Johnny Sewald (21).

Catcher Anthony Hermelyn leads the Bandits in average (.333), OBP (.464), slugging (.511), and consequently, also OPS (.975). He also has the team lead in doubles with eight. Connor Goedert tops the team in RBI (10) despite appearing in only nine games since his promotion on April 16 from Greeneville (Rookie).

RHP Ryan Deemes finally gave up a run, his first of the season in 14 innings, for a team leading 0.64 ERA. Andrew Thome leads the Bandits in saves with three, and his 1.10 ERA is second on the team. Matt Bower is the new team leader in strikeouts (24), followed by Astros #11 prospect, Albert Abreu (22).

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Other notes:

  • On April 24, opposing pitcher Cody Reed of the Kane County Cougars struck out 11 River Bandits in just 5.1 innings. Despite Reed’s great performance, the Bandits won 3-1. It was an impressive outing, however, we must also take into consideration that River Bandits batters are not being too selective about what they swing at.
  • It didn’t take the Astros organization long to figure out that RHP Rogelio Armenteros should move up. After four games, he was 0-2, but in 18.2 innings, he posted a 1.93 ERA, walked three and struck out 20. He is on his way to the Lancaster JetHawks of the Advanced-A California League. We hope he is prepared for the onslaught – the Cal. League is hitter friendly. The dry desert air causes baseballs to fly out of ballparks, much more so than in the humid Midwest.
  • On April 25, Brooks Marlow knocked out five hits, including a triple. The infielder had 12 hits in six games from April 20-28.
  • Bandits pitchers struck out 14 in the April 25 loss against the South Bend Cubs. RHP Jose Hernandez led the way with six K’s in 3.1 innings.
  • Aaron Mizell, 2B, hit two triples in the April 28 win over South Bend. The hits raised Mizell’s average to .224.

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The River Bandits went 4-1 this week, with a couple of rainouts, including a washed out double header scheduled for April 30. This week, (May 1-7), they play two at home against the West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers), then a six game road trip. Away games this week include three at the Great Lakes Loons, and three at the Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays).

**Statistics provided by Cover photo courtesy @QCBanditPhotog.**