At the beginning of the season, many of us discussed how the Quad Cities roster was the least sexy full-season team. We expected a team that would be successful solely on the reason that Luhnow has a track record of drafting skill-laden college players that perform above their tools. In fact, in a pole, QC received just 1% (4 of 295) of the votes in that they were the most exciting full-season team.
Yet, they over came the perceived bland-ness and ended having the best winning percentage in all of the full-season leagues in the minors. They went 88-50 which results in a .638 win%.
I can't point to one side of the ball as the primary force since both were dominant. They ranked second in runs. They ranked first in preventing runs. They were just simply good all around.
Remember how I said that we thought they were not sexy because of their opening roster? Well how's this for roster change-over. They used sixty-one different players. Thirty-seven different pitchers. That's huge turnover with several players being promoted to Lancaster and above, demoted from Lancaster, promoted from Extended Spring Training or Tri-City. Nine of the sixty-one played college ball this season (seven draftees and two NDFA).
The team hit .265/.346/.380. They lead the league in OBP (notice that every full-season team did this?) and were second in batting average, slugging, OPS, and runs.
They had five players that wore the River Bandits jersey for at least 100 games. Outfielders Bobby Boyd, Jason Martin, and Ryan Bottger. Infielders Nick Tanielu and Kristian Trompiz. Trompiz and Bottger posted OPS' under .700 and well below-average OBP. The other three had the team average or better OBP.
This wasn't a power team by any means. Just one player had double digit home runs and that was Jacob Nottingham with 10. And we all know he wasn't around all season (59 games). Derek Fisher had the second best SLG and he only played 39 games. The next best was Bryan Muniz who was juggled back and forth between QC and EST before short-season leagues started and played several games for TC. His SLG was .447 (.161 ISO).
They relied on Tanielu's forty-seven doubles and Boyd's forty stolen bases to get extra bases.
Of the thirty-seven pitchers, twenty of them started games for QC. That's a lot of different starters and it was primarily Joshua James and Brock Dykxhoorn who lead the team. They both had eighteen starts and over a hundred innings. James was a relative unknown as a late round JuCo draftee from 2014 and Dykxhoorn as a top 10 round JuCo draftee was a bit more known. These guys largely carried the load but it was James who really helped the overall team numbers.
James' ERA was just a hair under the team's. He was at 2.63 and the team's 2.65 lead the league. That's just absurd to me. A TEAM ERA was 2.65! Eleven pitcher's who started games had ERA's below that mark. The team also lead the league in H/9. Of the thirty-seven pitchers, thirty-one had H/9's below nine per nine. Despite being fifth in walks, the team still lead the league WHIP at 1.15.