DAVENPORT -- Andrew Thurman possesses a myriad of goals in his first full professional season, all with the hope of one day reaching the Houston Astros pitching staff.|
Topping the list is a cerebral objective.
"The main thing I want to do is learn," Thurman said.
Focusing on mental improvements has the Quad Cities River Bandits right-handed pitcher absorbing everything the game has to offer. Learning what it takes to master his craft and become the best hurler he can be is what drives the former second-round pick.
"I always want to learn and take what I can from every start, no matter if it's good or bad," Thurman said last week. "I just want to learn from everyone around me."
Experience has taught Thurman that every day should be a learning day.
The approach started during his three-year stint at California-Irvine. During a strong career with the Anteaters, the staff taught him that this game is all about knowledge. It takes some to succeed in a game that is set up for failure.
Undrafted out of high school in southern California, he went to college and turned himself into a high pick by listening to advice.
"The work ethic was instilled there," Thurman said. "I tried to carry it over here."
Two summers in the respected Cape Cod League also gave him the tools needed to complete his transformation.
"I went about my daily routine and kept trying to get better," Thurman said. "I tried to push myself as best as I could. I just tried to focus on myself and focus on getting better."
Thurman knows being on the mound will make that happen.
In 29 innings this season, he has a 4.97 ERA with 33 strikeouts and 12 walks. Only two of his eight appearances yielded scoreless outings, so consistency sometimes has been problematic. Thurman is fully aware of that.
"You're going to make mistakes," Thurman said. "It's all about learning from it and being able to be more consistent."
The latest appearance displayed his approach.
Lacking early command on Saturday evening against the Beloit Snappers, Thurman needed more than 30 pitches to escape the first inning. As he allowed three hits and two walks, the Bandits were warming up a reliever. He escaped the threat by allowing one run.
After that, he faced one over minimum and retired the last seven batters he faced. An outing that started with issues ended in a flourish.
"It's a process and we understand that. We can to work every single day to do that," Thurman said. "The goal is trying to make it and stay in Houston as long as we can. I come in with the mindset of trying to get better and work toward that goal."
Learning also plays a part in the process.
Thurman is driven by that.
"It's a game. I have fun playing it," Thurman said. "I'm trying my best each time. I'm trying to learn and develop the best I can."
River Bandits extra bases
Bandits this week: at Wisconsin (today-Wednesday); at Kane County (Thursday-Sunday)
Bandits news and notes: During their five-game winning streak, the Bandits have averaged 6.8 runs. In each game, they have scored at least five runs. On the other end, they have allowed 15 total runs. ... The bullpen ERA for the Bandits in their last five games is 2.55. ... QC will make its first appearance against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers starting today. The only other Western Division team the Bandits have yet to play is Burlington.
QC alumni: After missing a week with a shoulder injury, Lancaster JetHawks shortstop Carlos Correa has started an eight-game hitting streak. The highlight came on Saturday when he finished 5-for-6 with six RBIs at High Desert. Correa played for the Quad Cities River Bandits last season, batting .320 with 86 RBIs.
FYI: The Bandits' current five-game winning streak is their longest since they won seven in a row from July 28-Aug. 3 last year.
Around the Midwest League: The Clinton LumberKings earned a 20-17, 12-inning win at Burlington on Wednesday. The significance of it was Clinton being down 17-1 entering the sixth inning. ... The Dayton Dragons hosted their 1,000th consecutive sell-out crowd at Fifth Third Field on Saturday. That is the longest streak in the history of professional sports.
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