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Nick Tanielu leads Quad Cities to playoffs with polished bat, versatile glove

Though often surprising, thus far, the minor league award winners have been pretty clear-cut.

Ryan Dunsmore

At least one guy has stuck out notably at each level, clearly separating himself from his peers. Not so today, with Quad Cities' MVP.

Jacob Nottingham would have been the clear choice had he spent more time on the team, and Derek Fisher could have a similar comment made about him. But neither of them played in even 60 games for the club before moving on up to Lancaster.

Of the guys who did play the whole or nearly the whole season with Quad Cities, there wasn't one guy that really stood out clearly from the pack. Quad Cities relied on pitching, defense, and consistent offensive production from a large group of solid-but-unspectacular position player prospects.

My selection is going to be Nick Tanielu. The River Bandits' regular third baseman, Tanielu also started several games at first base and second base, providing valuable defensive flexibility. With the bat, he hit .308/.354/.434 in 110 games, third-most on the club and just seven behind the team leader.

He was second in plate appearances while leading the club in hits, doubles, total bases, RBI and sacrifice flies, flashing strong contact skills with a solid 14.0% strike out rate. His .308 average was the best on the club among those with at least 300 plate appearances.

There are two honorable mentions that made it a difficult decision. Bobby Boyd led the club in games played, plate appearances, runs, stolen bases (40!). He hit a solid .283/.347/.363; the lack of power led to an OPS .078 lower than Tanielu, a big deciding factor.

The second honorable mention is Jason Martin. He hit .270/.346/.396 with 27 extra-base hits, 14 stolen bases, and arguably the best plate discipline on the club besides Jamie Ritchie. Overall Tanielu simply hit a little better, and had as many doubles alone as Martin had extra-base hits.