This is the time of year that I start going into denial - the All-Star break means the season is half over already. The bonus for me is that the second half of the season seems to last a little longer - the team plays better in the heat of the summer.
In the first 70 games of the year, the Quad Cities River Bandits finished in second place in the West Division, securing a spot in the post-season playoffs. With as many games as were rained out early this spring, they only lost one game from the total schedule and finished with a record of 40-29. The club won more and lost more on the road than at home (21-15 and 19-14, respectively).
Packy Elkins, Greg Garcia, Jordan Swagerty, Chris Corrigan, Kyle Conley, Kevin Siegrist, Roberto Espinoza, Robert Stock, and Keith Butler passed through here before being promoted. Doubtless, there will be more. Sadly, several players reached the end of their Cardinals careers, too.
Jonathan Rodriguez also stands out when looking over the stats. He leads the team in runs scored (28), doubles (14), and home runs (6). He was right behind Stanley with 194 at bats and 27 RBIs.
Another name that pops up often on the first half stats is Nick Longmire. He had 191 at bats, 43 hits, and four homers.
Had it not been for his well-deserved promotion, Greg Garcia would also have topped the list in several categories. Oscar Taveras probably would have been at the top of all of the charts if he had stayed healthy. He just turned 19 so I expect a full rebound and an outstanding second half from him.
The pitchers also had a great first half. Anthony Ferrara had the most innings pitched (64), most wins of the current roster (6), and has given up the fewest runs per hit allowed (25 for 51). Boone Whiting started as a closer and closed as a starter in the first half. It's more difficult to cite his stats as they are combined from his closing innings and his starts, but he has good control and strikes out a lot of batters. He's also one of the most intelligent players I've gotten to know, too. Trevor Rosenthal has the most K's at 70 but his win/loss record (3-7) isn't as good as others. We've all had high hopes for Seth Blair - I still do. He has struggled in the first half but I see a determination in his eyes that won't be stopped. I expect much better results from him after the break.
Some of my readers key in on the statistical data to determine who they think deserves the title of "prospect." I've been a fan in Davenport since 1985 when I first moved here. I've watched a LOT of guys come through here and go on to the Major Leagues. I've learned to trust my gut feelings based on that history. If you don't like the "gut feeling" analysis, this is where you may get frustrated.
With a very small sample size to judge, I think that Oscar Taveras is on his way. He just 'looks' like a baseball player; and he's still developing his adult stature.
I think that Jordan Swagerty has the peace of mind that it takes to be successful at Busch Stadium.
Cody Stanley knows how to run a game from behind the plate and Greg Garcia commands the game when he's at the plate.
Trevor Rosenthal inspires the team to hit and to support his work.
Starlin Rodriguez is a diamond in the rough - if he's properly shaped and polished, he has a long career ahead.
There are others who will make it and some that I mentioned here might wash out but that's the way I see it today.
I'll be writing more this week about my experiences at the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game and then get back into reporting on the games for next week's post.
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