| Seasons | 1998 | Teams | Quad City River Bandits |
1998 West: | Burlington | Cedar Rapids | Clinton | Quad City |

Midwest League 1998

Quad City River Bandits

Major Change

1998 Teams
Cedar Rapids
Fort Wayne
Kane County
Quad City
South Bend
West Michigan

This page is a profile of the 1998 Quad City River Bandits, a Single-A affiliate of the Houston Astros and a member of the Midwest League. The main object of this page was to give clues about which players you should watch when the Bandits visited each team; this page was first published in April and was updated through the season.

Except when another date is specified, statistics on this page are through the end of the season.

Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, and Moline and Rock Island, Illinois; affiliated with the Houston Astros.
Manager: Mike Rojas
Coaches: Sid Holland, Bill Ballou (pitching)

High Attendance: 8,699 (July 3)
Low Attendance: 718 (April 14)
Average Attendance: 2,397 (through end of season)
1997 Season Average: 2,146
Note: These unofficial numbers may have errors.

Post-Season Profile

The Bandits had very good pitching this year; there were some problems with their offense, though. The result was a very good, and very consistent, season.

QC had some good hitters; just not enough of them. Eric Cole's a fine all-round player, James Thomas is a power source; Barry Wesson and Aaron McNeal are a similar pair at a lower production level. If Mike Rose had played every day, he'd have been this team's best.

The pitchers had a great year. Tom Shearn was dominating until a mid-season injury slowed him, though Wilfredo Rodriguez is likely the best talent. Eric Ireland led the team in wins, and was second in the league. Everyone contributed....

MWL Fan's Guide

Team Profile

Season Summary

  • First Half: 40-31 (.563), 1st place, 0.5 ahead
  • Second Half: 37-31 (.544), 1st place, 2.0 ahead
  • Pitching: 77-62, 3.44, 36 saves, 1057 strikeouts
  • Hitting: .253, 657 runs, 92 HR, 197 steals
  • April: 10-8 (.556)
  • May: 16-16 (.500)
  • June: 16-10 (.615)
  • July: 17-12 (.586)
  • August: 14-13 (.519)
  • September: 4-3 (.571)
  • Playoff Round 1: Lost to Clinton, 1-2

  • Best Player on the Team: Starting Pitcher Wilfredo Rodriguez

  • Best Starting Pitcher: Wilfredo Rodriguez (11-5, 3.05, 170 strikeouts) or Eric Ireland (14-9, 2.88, 191 strikeouts)
  • Bullpen Stopper: Brian Hecht (3-6, 3.41, 2 saves, 56 strikeouts)
  • Best Strikeout Pitcher: Wilfredo Rodriguez
  • Best Control Pitchers: Wilfredo Rodriguez and Eric Ireland

  • Best Hitter: Eric Cole (.280, 73 runs, 11 HR, 83 RBI, 32 steals)
  • Highest BA: Mike Rose (.303)
  • Home Run Leader: James Thomas (21)
  • Best Baserunner: Aaron Miles (28 steals)
  • Best Batting Eye: Mike Rose

July Profile

The Astros have put an excellent team in the Quad Cities this summer. The offense is built on speed; the best pitchers on the squad are very good.

Designated hitter James Thomas had a very good July; he may be the best power hitter in the Midwest League. He runs in a very fast squad; most of the team runs often, though not always wisely. Most of the starting lineup could find a place in any MWL lineup. Pitcher Wilfredo Rodriguez leads a very strong staff; rotation mates Tom Shearn and Eric Ireland are also excellent. The relief staff has a couple weak links but is generally excellent; closer Brian Hecht, in particular, is having a fine season.

Two more to watch: First baseman Aaron McNeal and pitcher Garrett Zyskowski.

June Profile

The Bandits had a very good June, largely because their bats started producing runs. This team's talent remains concentrated in the pitching staff, though.

DH James Thomas is the team's best hitter; he's having a very solid season. Outfielders Eric Cole and Barry Wesson contribute regularly, as do infielders Joe Cathey and Aaron McNeal. Roberto Alleyne, who showed flashes of brilliance last summer with this team, is back on the Davenport roster. On the pitching side, Wilfredo Rodriguez is the best talent, but Tom Shearn's having one excellent year. The pitching rotation is solid; the relievers are a mixed bag.

May Profile

Very good pitching, very bad hitting. There's usually a reason when teams play around .500 ball....

James Thomas and Aaron McNeal both have some power and some potential, but both play first base. Hard to build a team around them. The remaining hitters are, at best, about average for the league. On the mound, Tom Shearn's been really spectacular, even if I like Wilfredo Rodriguez better, and most of the staff has pitched pretty well.

April Profile

This year's Bandits have some excellent pitching; they've been particularly effective in short relief. The hitting is only barely acceptable.

Pre-Season Profile


Manager Mike Rojas has managed in the minors for 4 years, mainly in short-season leagues. There's nothing particularly noteworthy about his game-strategy decisions.

Where they played last season

The 1997 Auburn Doubledays are now making John O'Donnell Stadium their home. They've been augmented with a few players from elsewhere in the Houston system.

Team      League            W/L    Place    Hitters Pitchers
Kissimmee Florida State (A) 71-66   4(14)       2       0
Quad City Midwest (A)       59-75  13(14)       4       4
Auburn    New York-Penn (A) 29-47  13(14)      10       8
Astros    Gulf Coast (R)    24-36  13(15)       2       3

Every member of this team played in the Astros organization last summer; none played above Class A. There wasn't a lot of player movement within Houston's system, but a number of players appeared for more than one team and are counted more than once on this table.

Team Age

This information is based on the opening-day roster.

  • Oldest Player:
    • Farley Love, 25 (4/21/73)
  • Youngest Player:
    • Wilfredo Rodriguez, 19 (3/20/75)
  • Average Team Age:
    • Pitchers: 21.6
    • Position Players: 20.1
    • Team Average: 20.8

First Round Draftee

  • Brad Lidge (1998; 17th pick)


  • Roberto Alleyne
    • Midwest League Hitter of the Week for June 14-20
  • Joe Cathey
    • Baseball America 1997 Astros Draft Analysis: fastest runner, best defensive player
  • Pat Cutshall
    • 1998 Midwest League All-Star Game selection
    • 1997 New York-Pennsylvania League: doubles leader
    • Baseball America 1997 Astros Draft Analysis: best athlete
  • Eric Ireland
    • Baseball America Astros Post-Season Prospect Summary: keep an eye on
    • Quad Cities Most Valuable Player (Houston Astros system selection)
    • Midwest League Pitcher of the Week for July 26-August 1
  • Farley Love
    • 1998 Midwest League All-Star Game selection
  • Aaron McNeal
    • Baseball America Best Tools: best defensive first baseman
    • 1998 Midwest League All-Star Game selection
  • Wilfredo Rodriguez
    • Howe SportsData Teen Minor League Team: honorable mention
    • 1998 Prospects, Projects, and Suspects Minor League All-Star (NL second team)
  • Tom Shearn
    • Howe SportsData Emerging Prospect
    • Baseball America Midseason All-Stars: starting pitcher
    • 1998 Midwest League All-Star Game selection
    • Midwest League Pitcher of the Week for May 17-23
    • Midwest League Hitter of the Week for April 26-May 2
  • James Thomas
    • 1998 Midwest League Post-Season All-Star Designated Hitter
    • Midwest League Hitter of the Week for July 19-25

Quad Cities


Quad City

The Midwest League plays Single-A, professional baseball in America's agricultural and industrial heartland. 16 teams play a 140 game schedule which begins in early April and ends Labor Day weekend.

This website is a private project and has no official relation with or sanction from the Midwest League or Minor League Baseball.
The opinions expressed on this page are mine, and are worth about that.

Copyright © 1996-2010 Joel Dinda
Some Rights Reserved.