Fifteen ex-Pelicans flock from MB to MLB playoffs

After celebrating its 15th season on the Grand Strand, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans will send 15 players to the Major League Playoffs this week.

Despite being two years removed from being a Class A farm club for the Atlanta Braves, nine of the former Pelicans will suit up for the Braves when the take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round.

Braves pitchers Brandon Beachy, Craig Kimbrel, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Julio Teheran, catcher Brian McCann, infielder Freddie Freeman and outfielder Jason Heyward and Jordan Schafer are on the Braves’ 40-man roster. Coincidentally, the manager for the inaugural 1999 Pelicans, Brian Snitker, is now the Braves’ third-base coach.

The Pelicans have only been affiliated with the Rangers for two seasons, but they are already starting to see prospects make the move from Myrtle Beach to Texas. Pitcher Robbie Ross and infielder Chris McGuiness played in Myrtle Beach in 2012. Ironically, two other Rangers and ex-Pelicans, pitcher Matt Harrison and infielder Elvis Andrus, played in Myrtle Beach under the Braves’ regime.

Perhaps the two most famous former Pelicans don’t play for either parent club, but for the reigning St. Louis Cardinals. Pitcher Adam wainwright and infielder Rafael Furcal, the first former Pelican in franchise history to make it to the majors, played key roles in the Cardinals’ 2011 World Series championship. Wainwright is a starter but Furcal is on the DL.

The Cards will face the winner of the NL play-in game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds. The Rangers must beat the Tampa Bay Rays to advance to the AL first round.

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