HOUSTON, TX — The Houston Astros announced today that the club has signed a two-year Player Development Contract (PDC) with the Quad Cities River Bandits of the Midwest League, General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced.
The agreement partners the two franchises through the 2014 season and marks their second affiliation. Houston was the Major League affiliate of Quad Cities from 1993-98, during which time the River Bandits had three first-place finishes in a four-year span (‘95-98).
Luhnow worked with Quad Cities while serving as the St. Louis Cardinals vice president of player development and scouting prior to joining the Astros.
“I look forward to working with Dave Heller, Bob Herrfeldt, Stefanie Brown and the rest of the River Bandits staff again,” Luhnow said. “My experiences while with St Louis were very positive and I know our players will benefit from their time in the Quad Cities.”
Three current Astros players, infielder Tyler Greene, first baseman Brett Wallace and right-handed pitcher Chuckie Fick, all played for Quad Cities while in the Cardinals system.
“We are genuinely excited to welcome the Astros family into one of the finest ballparks in the minor leagues and the community with the greatest fans in minor league baseball,” said River Bandits owner Heller.
“We’ve known Jeff Luhnow for five years. He is one of the smartest people in all of baseball, a brilliant evaluator of talent, and a man who is committed to building his team through the farm system. Because of Jeff, we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we will be seeing first-rate talent coming through the Quad Cities for years to come.”
“We welcome the Astros back to the River Bandits family to continue building our shared history,” said River Bandits General Manager Brown. “Our fans will see the bright future of the Astros organization and some of the best young players in all of minor league baseball.”
In 1950, Astros Hall of Fame broadcaster and Iowa native Milo Hamilton landed his first job in professional baseball, broadcasting games for the Quad Cities Tigers in the very same ballpark that the River Bandits play in today in Davenport, Iowa.
The Quad Cities franchise joined the Midwest League in 1960. In addition to the Astros, the Major league affiliates include the Milwaukee (now Atlanta) Braves (1960-1961), Los Angeles and California Angels (1962-1978, 1985-1992), Chicago Cubs (1979-1984), Minnesota Twins (1999-2004) and St. Louis Cardinals (2005-2012).