Buckel among three Pelican pitchers on CL All-Star team

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers, have placed three pitchers on the 2012 Carolina League all-star team, the league office announced Monday.  Pitchers Cody Buckel, Kyle Hendricks and Randy Henry were all tabbed for the squad.

The 2012 Carolina League-California League All-Star Game will take place Tuesday, June 19th, at Winston-Salem’s BB&T Ballpark.

The Pelicans, whose 3.01 ERA is best in either the Carolina League or the Cal League,  placed the most pitchers of any team in the circuit on the all-star roster.  The three Pelicans are second most of any team in the CL, trailing the five players picked from Salem and Lynchburg.

Cody Buckel leads the Carolina League in several key pitching categories, solidifying himself as arguably the best young arm in the league at just 19 years old.  Buckel’s 1.42 ERA is more than a half a run better than the next guy, Wilmington’s Sugar Ray Marimon.  The righty’s league best 82 strikeouts are 16 better than second place Yordano Ventura, also from Wilmington.  Buckel also leads CL starting pitchers in lowest batting average against and fewest baserunners per nine innings.  He is the only Carolina League pitcher to be named Pitcher of the Week three times.  This is Buckel’s first all-star game as a pro.

Kyle Hendricks leads the Pelicans with nine quality starts in 12 outings.  He sits among the league’s top ERA’s with a 2.93 mark.  Hendricks is also one of the hardest pitchers in the league to walk against, not issuing a free pass in five consecutive starts from May 6th to May 31st.  Hendricks’ best start came May 20th at Wilmington, where he went a career high eight innings, allowing one run with 11 strikeouts.  The Rangers’ eighth round pick in last year’s draft, Hendricks is in his first professional season after pitching collegiately at Dartmouth College.  The last time Hendricks allowed more than four earned runs was while with the Big Green, pitching against Miami in the 2010 Regionals.  This is Hendricks’ first all-star game as a pro.

Randy Henry has been one of the most dominant closers in the Carolina League in 2012.  Acquired in the offseason from the Baltimore Orioles for catcher Taylor Teagarden, Henry was converted on seven saves with a 0.31 ERA as a reliever.  The only earned run Henry allowed as a reliever  came at Frederick on May 2nd.  Opponents hit only .196 against Henry when  he came out of the pen.  The righty moved into the starting rotation at Carolina on June 8th. This is Henry’s first all-star game as a pro.

After spending the weekend on the road at Carolina, the Pelicans return home to start a seven game homestand at 7:05 tonight against the Frederick Keys.

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