Nine players selected in the top 10 rounds of the draft are assigned to the Quad Cities River Bandits for the start of the 2015 season, including the Houston Astros’ top 2014 signee, OF Derek Fisher, and RHP Joe Musgrove.
Fisher and Musgrove are among Houston’s top 30 prospects, respectively ranked No. 13 and No. 19 in this year’s Baseball America Prospect Handbook. Fisher, selected 37th overall in last year’s draft, will be Houston’s fourth straight top draft signee to play for the River Bandits, following SS Carlos Correa (1st overall pick in 2012) and RHP Mark Appel (1st overall pick in 2013) in 2013 and OF George Springer (11th overall pick in 2011) on a rehab assignment in 2014.
Baseball America‘s write-up about Fisher says, in part, that he “has strength and exceptional bat speed that give him plus-plus raw power … If he ever taps into his power, Fisher will profile as a big-league regular.”
Musgrove is described as having “a three-pitch mix that includes an inconsistent but at times plus curveball and a promising changeup. He profiles as a mid-rotation workhorse.”
In short-season Class A last year, both played for the Tri-City ValleyCats, who fell a win shy of the New York-Penn League championship. In all, 15 players assigned to the River Bandits this year played for the ValleyCats at some point last year. Fisher, RHP Ryan Thompson, C Jamie Ritchie, INF Nick Tanielu and OF Bobby Boyd were 2014 New York-Penn League Midseason All-Stars.
The nine River Bandits selected in the top 10 rounds of the draft are Fisher, Musgrove, Boyd, RHP Daniel Mengden, RHP Kevin Comer, RHP Brock Dykxhoorn, LHP Chris Lee, LHP Brian Radziewski and C Jacob Nottingham.
Boyd, Comer and Lee are among seven 2015 River Bandits who are returning players. The others are INF Thomas Lindauer, OF Ryan Bottger, LHP Albert Minnis and RHP Keegan Yuhl. Minnis and Lee were respectively named the River Bandits pitchers of the month in July and August of last season.