Quad Cities Bandits Notebook: 2012 Week 17

An in-depth look into key position players on the St. Louis Cardinals' Midwest League affiliate.

After a six-loss week, the Quad Cities River Bandits have fallen well below .500 and have slipped to fifth place in the Western Division. It is a week that is hard to highlight.

Last week, I analyzed the team's starting pitchers. Today I'll look at some of the position players in the hope of finding something that might spark the team for the last month of the season.

Colin Walsh is still on the disabled list. His missing bat is part of the team's problem right now. He was hit hard on the wrist with a pitch a couple of weeks ago and it is taking longer to heal than anyone expected. Hopefully he'll be back in the lineup soon.

Ethan Cole was also put on the DL this week. Since the team has been out of town all week I haven't been able to find out what happened. Watch the insiders' forum; I'll post there as soon as I know what happened.

Nick Longmire rejoined the Bandits this week after spending the first part of the season in Palm Beach. His arrival here was part of a multi-level shift early this week. He was an important part of the push for the championship last year. I hope he will provide a spark to get the team moving in the right direction.

Those are the players who have not contributed. They have also not deterred the team at all. Today I'll look at the power sources and at the power drains on the rest of the club.

David Bergin has been a big plus in most of the games he has played. He's hitting .344 with an OPS of an amazing 1.046. This is an admittedly small sample size since he has only been with the team for 10 games, but it's still impressive.

Anthony Melchionda has also just recently joined the team but he has been a boost in his 13 games. He has a decent BA at .295 but his plate discipline needs work as his OBP is also just .295. As he settles into play at this level, I expect to see good things from him.

Matt Williams is one of the offensive highlights on the team. He is hitting .281 and has more than 40 more at bats than anyone else, even though he's only second in games played. He struggles with errors but that goes with the position he plays, shotrstop. Matt is one of the quiet guys who is easy to overlook but he seems to be adding a lot to the bottom line.

Anthony Garcia has shown some flashes of great brilliance recently after a fairly slow start this spring. His bat has been crucial in some key wins. Now he needs more consistency with his offense to be counted upon for the playoff run.

Luis Mateo has been here for at least three years and is having his best season but still has some real cold spells that he needs to overcome. When he's "on", he is nearly unstoppable, especially in his defense. It seems that he is battling a mental game that he needs to beat.

Nick Martini is another player who is either too hot to handle or too cold to touch. In 100 games - the most of any player this year – he is only hitting .238, but it seems that his hits come at the best time to win games. The team should be winning more games with this kind of talent.

Juan Castillo is another one who seems to plug along doing his job while not attracting a lot of attention. He is a good field director and he gets hits consistently. As a catcher, he doesn't play every game, so it's hard to develop the same rhythm as other players. I'd like to see more from him.

While I'm writing about catchers, Casey Rasmus continues to impress me. He's young and he needs to develop more but he has good raw skills. He is very good at controlling the game. I try to avoid sibling comparisons, but I believe he has more talent than his famous brother, Colby. Casey's bat power is impressive and he is the fastest catcher I've ever seen running the bases. Again, catchers don't get to play every game so that limits his contribution to the team.

The last player I will mention today is David Medina. He is carrying a .260 average and has played most of the games this year. He's quiet and that makes it easy to overlook his skills. I see him as becoming a good platoon player even if he never gets to the All-Star Game.

The bottom line is that this team SHOULD be a lot better than they are. If I could name one or two problems, I would. However, it just seems that they are only firing on one or two cylinders at a time and they need to find the full power of the V-8. Will they pull it together in time for a real run at the playoffs? Time will tell. This writer will be VERY disappointed if the Bandits follow up a championship season by missing this year's playoffs.

Yes, I intentionally omitted a review of Stephen Piscotty. If he's not promoted before I get to talk to him, I plan to have an in-depth chat with him this week. Look for it next week as we start the final month of the season.

If you have any questions for Stephen or any other players, please be sure to message me on the forum or via private message (sport61201).

Thanks for reading!

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