The Houston Astros announced today that the club has extended its Player Development Contract (PDC) with the Class A Quad Cities River Bandits of the Midwest League. The two-year extension continues the affiliation between the Astros and River Bandits through the 2016 season. The announcement was made by Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan at a press conference in Quad Cities this afternoon.
"We are thrilled to extend our partnership with Dave Heller and his Quad Cities River Bandits organization," said Astros Director of Player Development Quinton McCracken. "We are extremely excited to rejoin forces with this exciting and progressive ownership group and look forward to our players developing their baseball skills in the unique and picturesque environment at Modern Woodmen Park for years to come".
"The last two seasons have been a special time for Quad Cities baseball," said River Bandits Owner Dave Heller. "From seeing some of the top rising prospects and Major League talent on the field, to seeing a Midwest League Championship, we are delighted to continue our partnership with the Houston Astros and one of the best minor league systems in baseball."
The River Bandits have fielded a number of the Astros top prospects over the past two seasons, including SS Carlos Correa, RHP Lance McCullers, RHP Mark Appel, 3B Rio Ruiz, 1B A.J. Reed, LHP Josh Hader, RHP Michael Feliz and more. In 2013, Quad Cities won the Midwest League Championship after going 7-1 in the playoffs.
The current partnership between the two clubs began in 2012, although it is 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 (1995-98).