Quad Cities Report: River Bandits Mid Season Review
Davenport, IA- The first half of the season is in the books and for the Quad Cities River Bandits that means it is time to evaluate where the team is and what to look for going into the second half. For the most part not many things need to change and the things that need adjusting are not major. The River Bandits have improved tremendously since starting the season 2-10. Pitching has gotten better and they have been able to close out close games. I’ll start my review with hitting.
At the start of the season cold weather took it’s toll on alot of teams but the Bandits were hitting below .200 as a team with the only bright spot being Kyle Tucker. As the games continued there was improvement in the hitting department as other names were coming to light. Johnny Sewald made big impacts when leading off and Brooks Marlow got hot in mid April and kept improving.
Osvaldo Duarte and Antonio Nunez also played huge rolls in the hitting department but the hitter who gets my first half Captain Clutch Award is Dexture McCall. Hitting .287 with a .343 OBP he has proven to be a key to victory. His slugging percentage isn’t exactly stellar but if there was ever a man I would want at the plate to bring in a run or start a rally it would be McCall.
On the field it’s not tough to see where the Bandits were faltering. Errors were huge in the 2-10 start to the season but as adjustments were made and players got more familiar with each other things got better. Three players stood out to me in the field and that was Aaron Mizell, Kyle Tucker and Bobby Wernes. Those three young men flashed great leather in the first half. Mizell has since been promoted to Lancaster and both Tucker and Wernes continue to grow. Stoney’s Rock Solid Fielding Award for the first half was a very tough choice but Kyle Tucker receives it based on his growth in the outfield and his ability to play all three outfield positions.
Finally we look at the pitching. At the start of the season it was clear who the best pitcher was. Ryan Deemes had a superior 0.87 ERA in nine appearances. Deemes had a 1-0 record with one save to his credit. In those nine games he allowed just two runs in 20.2 innings. Deemes moved up to Lancaster after just 20 plus games of the season along with fellow pitchers Matt Bower, Jacob Dorris and Alex Winkelman. Losing those pitchers hurt the Bandits a bit but once they added a couple more pitchers things settled down.
Stoney’s Golden Arm Award goes to Andrew Thome. Thome has appeared in 12 games and has a 2-1 record. He has a 1.88 ERA with 4 saves on the season. With only 16 strikeouts he may not be the leader in that category but he knows how to force a ground out or pop out. A solid pitcher in relief and overall.
One name that started with the River Bandits but was dropped down to short season Tri-City due to his lack of growth as a hitter was Daz Cameron. Batting a pedestrian .143 after only 21 games and 77 at bats something had to give. He had 33 strikeouts and just 11 hits. Both very bad numbers. Since that time he has played in 4 games for Tri-City hitting .263 in 19 at bats with 5 hits, 10 strikeouts and 7 total bases. Daz is great in the field and he seems to be more patient at the plate. I look for him to be back on the Bandits roster before season’s end.
Look for a much improved Quad Cities team in the second half as both the hitting and pitching have really come a long way since April. They should get a playoff spot but I also think they can win the second half division crown. It’ll be fun to watch as the second half gets underway for Quad Cities on Thursday as they travel to Appleton Wisconsin to take on the Timber Rattlers in a four game series. Finishing the first half at 31-38 was tough but they have momentum going into the second half after winning two close games against Cedar Rapids. Get ready because the second half is going to be a whirlwind of excitement.
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**Photo Credit: Richard Guill**