CCU’s Conway among top MB-bound Cubs’ prospects

ccubase-conwayWith Opening Night only three days away, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, are excited to announce a prospect-packed initial roster for the 2015 season. In the first year in the Cubs system, the Pelicans will begin the year with an incredibly diverse roster that includes nine players in the Cubs Top 30 prospects according to both MLBPipeline.coms Prospect Watch and Baseball America, as the team aims for a fifth straight postseason appearance.

The balanced roster has five position players from MLB.com and Baseball Americas Top 30 Cubs prospects and four pitchers from the same lists. Making the abundance of talent of this years roster even more remarkable is that the Chicago Cubs farm system has been widely regarded the best in baseball. The system received top marks from ESPNs Keith Law, Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, MLB.com, the Sporting News, Minor League Ball, and the MiLBYs.

2015 Pelicans Roster (MLBPipeline.com / Baseball America Top 30 Cubs Prospect Ranking):

Pitchers (14): RHPs Paul Blackburn (No. 27/No. 18), Matt Brazis, Josh Conway, Jonathan Martinez, Juan Paniagua, Starling Peralta, James Pugliese, Tayler Scott, Tyler Skulina, Daury Torrez (25/30), Jen-Ho Tseng (11/11), and Duane Underwood (8/10); LHPs Gerardo Concepcion and Michael Heesch.

Catchers (3): Victor Caratini (19/13), Ben Carhart, Alberto Mineo

Infielders (6): Jeimer Candelario (15/24), Wesley Darvill, Andrew Ely, Daniel Lockhart, Carlos Penalver, and Jacob Rogers.

Outfielders (4): Shawon Dunston Jr., Jacob Hannemann (22/17), Billy McKinney (9/6), and Mark Zagunis (18/15).

Leading the group is Baseball Americas minor league Manager of the Year and eight-year big league catcher Mark Johnson, who spent the last two seasons managing the Class-A Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League.

Last season, Johnsons club went an MiLB-best 91-49 and swept through the Midwest League playoffs with a 7-0 record on the way to a Midwest League championship. The new Pelicans skipper will have 19 of the players from that team with him on Opening Night: Blackburn, Candelario, Caratini, Carhart, Concepcion, Dunston Jr., Hannemann, Heesch, Lockhart, Martinez, Paniagua, Penalver, Pugliese, Rogers, Skulina, Torrez, Tseng, Underwood, and Zagunis.

The mostly highly-touted prospect, outfielder Billy McKinney, is one of four players on the Pelicans roster who was acquired by the Cubs via trade. McKinney, ranked the No. 83 prospect in baseball by Baseball America and No. 81 by Baseball Prospectus, was drafted 24th overall in the 2013 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics. The 20-year-old hit .264 with 11 homers last season, split between Class A-Advanced Stockton (Athletics) and Daytona (Cubs). He excelled after coming over in a trade with Addison Russell and Dan Straily in exchange for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland. With Daytona, McKinney hit .301 in 51 games. Brazis, Caratini, and Martinez, like McKinney, came to the Cubs in a trade.

Mark Zagunis comes to the Grand Strand off of an outstanding 2014. The catcher and outfielder was named a Baseball America Northwest League All-Star Selection, hitting .299 and posting a .429 on-base percentage in 41 games before his promotion to Class-A Kane County. Zagunis also made the Northwest League All-Star game. Paul Blackburn is the other Midseason All-Star selection from last year; he made the Midwest League All-Star roster.

Jen-Ho Tseng and Duane Underwood fronted the Cougars pitching staff last year, a group that had the best ERA in the Midwest League. Both posted sub-3.00 ERAs; Tseng, 20, was 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA in his first pro year, while Underwood, also 20, posted a 2.50 ERA with 84 strikeouts in 100 2/3 innings.

Pitcher Josh Conway will have the opportunity to pitch in familiar confines. The Smithsburg, Maryland, native played his college ball at Coastal Carolina University where he earned Second-Team All-Big South honors in 2012 before going down with an injury. The 23-year-old skips the Class-A level after posting an outstanding 2014 season in his first pro year since undergoing Tommy John surgery. With the Class A-Short Season Boise Hawks a year ago, Conway went 0-1 in 13 starts with a 1.96 ERA. He was a star in college, with the 10th-best ERA in CCU history (2.68). He is the eighth-highest draft selection in the history of Chanticleers baseball.

In addition to ranking nine of the Pelicans in their Top 30 Cubs prospects, Baseball America also lauded a handful of Pelicans players with Best Tools labels. Caratini is the Best Defensive Catcher in the system according to the 2015 Prospect Handbook. They tabbed Hannemann as the Fastest Baserunner in the system, Penalver as the Best Defensive Infielder, Tseng with the Best Control and Best Changeup, Underwood with Best Fastball, and Zagunis with Best Strike Zone Discipline. They also list Juan Paniagua as the top Sleeper prospect in the system and Ely as the Best Defensive Player from the Cubs 2014 draft class.

Comments

comments

CAC swimmers race rivals, storms at Palmetto Invite

CAC swimmers race rivals, storms at Palmetto InviteWhile most of South Carolina was under rain showers this [more]

CCU takes series from ASU in de facto tripleheader day

CCU takes series from ASU in de facto tripleheader day Coastal Carolina played 22 innings on Saturday (completing game 1 [more]

North edges South as rain keeps teams on their toes

North edges South as rain keeps teams on their toesThe Class 4A North-South All-Star Boys Tennis showcase managed to [more]

NMB's Smith picked to kick at Ray Guy prospect camp

NMB's Smith picked to kick at Ray Guy prospect campNorth Myrtle Beach High's Zane Smith received the Ray Guy [more]

Rain plagues CCU's series with Appalachian State

Rain plagues CCU's series with Appalachian StateGame one of the weekend series between #16 Coastal Carolina [more]

Girls Soccer: McCoy, Hall top all-region for Panthers

Girls Soccer: McCoy, Hall top all-region for PanthersThe Carolina Forest girls soccer team cleaned up on the [more]

Strong finish lands Chants in top 10 but no NCAA bid

Strong finish lands Chants in top 10 but no NCAA bidThe Coastal Carolina men’s golf team shot a final-round, 7-under [more]

Boys Golf: Seahawks earn repeat as state runner-up

Boys Golf: Seahawks earn repeat as state runner-upThe Myrtle Beach High School varsity boys golf team finished [more]

Lone Panther Fortenberry ties for third in Class 5A

Lone Panther Fortenberry ties for third in Class 5A Carolina Forest's Chris Fortenberry finished tied for third individually at [more]

Coastal ace Bilous claims Sun Belt Pitcher of Week

Coastal ace Bilous claims Sun Belt Pitcher of WeekCoastal Carolina junior Jason Bilous was voted the Sun Belt [more]

MB's Cahill, Wallen make deep runs at state singles

MB's Cahill, Wallen make deep runs at state singlesThe Myrtle Beach High boys tennis team sent a pair [more]

Chants climb leaderboard in second round of NCAA

Chants climb leaderboard in second round of NCAAThe Coastal Carolina men’s golf team shot an even-par round [more]

Soccer: SJ's Williams joins MB trio on all-state squad

Soccer: SJ's Williams joins MB trio on all-state squadThree Myrtle Beach High soccer players and one St. James [more]

SJ's Bray, MB's Edwards at top of All-Region 7-4A list

SJ's Bray, MB's Edwards at top of All-Region 7-4A listFollowing a near-miss bid to the Class 4A state championship [more]

Locals top all-region team; MB's Bodge earns all-state

Locals top all-region team; MB's Bodge earns all-stateGrand Strand area teams dominated the All-Region 7-4A team, and [more]

MB's Grigg, NMB duo put teams in hunt for 4A title

MB's Grigg, NMB duo put teams in hunt for 4A titleDefending state runner-up Myrtle Beach is in a familiar position, [more]

Confidence Cougars beat Manzer Academy for title

Confidence Cougars beat Manzer Academy for titleThe Confidence Cougars, an AAU team made up of players [more]

CCU struggles on first day of NCAAs but still in hunt

CCU struggles on first day of NCAAs but still in huntThe Coastal Carolina men’s golf team shot a 2-over par, [more]

Chants sweep Trojans, nab top seed, Sun Belt East title

Chants sweep Trojans, nab top seed, Sun Belt East titleFor the second time this weekend, Coastal Carolina shutout Little [more]

Former Chant Henderson 'truly blessed' after crash

Former Chant Henderson 'truly blessed' after crashFormer Coastal Carolina All-American and Denver Broncos running back De'Angelo [more]

Track & Field: Strand trio strikes silver at state meet

Track & Field: Strand trio strikes silver at state meetNo gold medals made their way from Saturday's SCHSL Class [more]

CA loses double-overtime heartbreaker in state final

CA loses double-overtime heartbreaker in state finalThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach girls soccer team suffered [more]

CCU celebrates Senior Day by making magic number 1

CCU celebrates Senior Day by making magic number 1On Coastal Carolina’s Senior Day, CCU senior Kevin Woodall accounted [more]

Boys Golf: Seahawks take aim at state title as a team

Boys Golf: Seahawks take aim at state title as a teamAfter Myrtle Beach High golfer Holden Grigg's record-setting 2017 Class [more]

Coastal opens final home series with shutout of ULR

Coastal opens final home series with shutout of ULRJason Bilous posted a career-high 11 strikeouts over seven scoreless [more]

CAC swimmers race rivals, storms at Palmetto Invite

CAC swimmers race rivals, storms at Palmetto InviteWhile most of South Carolina was under rain showers this [more]

CCU takes series from ASU in de facto tripleheader day

CCU takes series from ASU in de facto tripleheader day Coastal Carolina played 22 innings on Saturday (completing game 1 [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach