With a 3-1 victory yesterday over Beloit, Quad Cities, an Astros affiliate, improved to 24-23 on the season.
Carson LaRue turned in a seven-inning performance, allowing only two hits and one run, while fanning five. It was LaRue’s longest outing so far this season. 19-year-old Astros farmhand from Cuba, Yordan Alvarez, led the team offensively, going 2/4 with two RBI’s and a run scored. Alvarez played first base for the River Bandits in this contest. In 12 games with Quad Cities, Alvarez is slashing .357/.440/.595 with two long balls.
So far this season, LaRue has been the standout pitcher on a staff that has performed well. LaRue is 6-1 with a 1.72 ERA in 47 innings pitched. He also owns a miniscule WHIP of 0.94, and could be one of the next players moved up in the organization.
Some movement within the Astros’ farm system has already occurred. A handful of players have been promoted from Quad Cities to High-A Buies Creek. Those players include C Jake Rogers, P Brett Adcock, P Carlos Sierra, P Gabriel Valdez, P Jorge Alcala, and 3B Randy Cesar.
Last year’s first round draft pick Forrest Whitley is having a decent campaign. He owns a 1-2 record with a 3.57 ERA and in 22.2 innings, he has 35 strikeouts and only seven walks.
Recent Cuban signee LHP Cionel Perez has struggled out of the gate (6.43 ERA in 21 IP), but his most recent performance was brilliant. He threw seven innings of no-hit, shutout baseball. Perez struck out 10 Peoria hitters and walked only one. Hopefully that start is a catalyst for more success.
OF Daz Cameron continues to struggle this season. Cameron has seen his batting average regress to .178 on the year. He does have 10 stolen bases, but his speed will prove to be insignificant if he cannot get on base consistently.
3B Rodrigo Ayarza has had a terrific season thus far and leads Quad Cities in home runs. Ayarza is slashing .318/.348/.553 on the year and has seven HR’s and 29 RBI’s.
OF Marcos Almonte has also been one of the offensive leaders this year. He owns a slash line of .315/.348/.546. Almonte has six HR’s, 21 RBI’s, and five stolen bases thus far in the season.
The River Bandits have two more games at home against Beloit, and then begin June with a road series versus Cedar Rapids. The Midwest League All Star game is June 20, and Quad Cities should have at least a few representatives.
**Statistics courtesy of MiLB.com**