News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Tuesday, 02 April 2013 08:13
Shortstop Carlos Correa to be first No. 1 overall pick playing for Quad Cities since Joe Mauer in 2002

DAVENPORT, Iowa (APRIL 1, 2013) – Baseball fans in the Quad Cities area have seen hundreds of players on their way to major league careers since the Quad Cities franchise since it joined the Midwest League in 1960, and fans will see more history this season, as the Quad Cities River Bandits begin their second affiliation with the Houston Astros. The River Bandits will open the season with four of the top 15 Houston Astros prospects, according to Baseball America, including 2012 No. 1 overall pick Carlos Correa.

Correa is the first No. 1 overall draft pick to play for the Quad Cities since Joe Mauer, the No. 1 overall pick by the Minnesota Twins in 2001, played in the Quad Cities in 2002. Correa is ranked by Baseball America as the No. 1 prospect in the Astros minor league system and the No. 13 prospect in all of baseball. The River Bandits roster also includes right-handed pitcher Lance McCullers (ranked Houston No. 4 prospect and No. 50 in baseball by Baseball America), infielder Rio Ruiz (No. 8), and right-hander Vincent Velasquez (No. 13).

“For decades, the Quad Cities community has seen future major leaguers play in the Quad Cities, but this season will be something special. In addition to seeing future major league players, for the first time in a decade, our fans will have a chance to see future major league stars,” said team owner Dave Heller. “Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers and Rio Ruiz are some of the exciting prospects in all of baseball. The fact that they are coming to the Quad Cities will give River Bandits fans a chance to meet and get autographs and photos with future major league stars right here at Modern Woodmen Park.”

The River Bandits have 26 players on their preliminary roster, which is subject to change before Opening Day. Midwest League clubs may have up to 25 active players when the season begins Thursday. The River Bandits roster includes 12 players drafted in 2012, including Correa (first round), McCullers (first supplemental), Ruiz (fourth), right-handed pitcher Daniel Minor (ninth), left-handed pitcher Joe Bircher (10th), outfielder Terrell Joyce (12th), left-handed pitcher Brian Holmes (13th), infielders Joe Sclafani (14th) and Ryan Dineen (25th), and right-handed pitchers John Neely (30th), Mike Hauschild (33rd) and Jordan Jankowski (34th),

Eight River Bandits played on the short-season Class-A Tri-City ValleyCats team that went to the New York-Penn League Championship Series last season. Infielder Jesse Wierzbicki was the ValleyCats Most Valuable Player, while Holmes and catcher Jobduan Morales were each New York-Penn League All-Stars. Baseball America ranked Velasquez as the league’s No. 14 prospect following the season.

Also on the roster is outfielder Ariel Ovando, a native of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, who signed with the Astros in 2010 at age 17 for a reported then-club-record $2.6 million bonus that was topped by Correa’s reported $4.8 million last season.

“Fans in the Quad Cities will be treated to outstanding talent at Modern Woodmen Park this season,” said General Manager Harold Craw. “We are excited to be just days away from welcoming our fans to see some of the best young players in baseball and begin another memorable season at Modern Woodmen Park.”

The River Bandits will have a running start to the season with the first-ever Bandits Race to Home 5K presented by Palmer Chiropractic Clinics on Saturday, April 6, before the 2013 home opener at Modern Woodmen Park Thursday, April 11.

UP NEXT: Tickets for the 2013 season are now on sale! Call 563-324-3000 or visit www.riverbandits.com. It’s not too late lock in your season ticket plan for the 2013 season! Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $50. Call a River Bandits account representative today at 563-324-3000 to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.

ABOUT THE BANDITS: The River Bandits will make one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 112 feet over the playing field, is scheduled to open in early June, along with two new zip lines, a carousel, a Frog HopperTM, new bounce houses and many other fun attractions. The team also boasts a new major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, and fans will see last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick, Carlos Correa. The Astros will also make the very first selection in the major league draft this June and could have another top pick end up in the Quad Cities. With new rides, new attractions, new improvements, a new affiliate and future major league stars, this season will be one every fan will not want to miss!


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