Four first-round draft picks mark 2013 Pelicans’ roster

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans in conjunction with the Texas Rangers announced their 2013 opening day roster Thursday, a group that features four first-round draft picks along with nine players that donned a Pelicans uniform in 2012.

Outfielder Jake Skole (Valrico, FL), catcher Kellin Deglan (Langley, B.C.) and right-hander Luke Jackson (Southwest Ranches, FL) were all selected in the opening round of the 2010 draft while outfielder Zach Cone (Stone Mountain, GA) was taken in the first round of the 2011 first-year player draft.

The roster features six players listed in Baseball America’s list of Top 30 Rangers prospects. Position players Rougned Odor (No. 11), Drew Robinson (No. 21), Luis Sardinas (No. 7) and Cone (No. 24) are joined by pitching prospects Jackson (No. 6) and Nick Martinez (No. 27).

Odor (Maracaibo, VZ) and Sardinas (Bolivar, VZ) both open the campaign at 19 years old. The speedy duo spent much of 2012 on the middle infield for the Crawdads with Sardinas stealing 32 bases and Odor swiping 19.

Along with Skole and Jackson, other returning Pelicans include pitchers Jon Edwards (Keller, TX), Phil Klein (Gahanna, OH), Nick McBride (Lewisville, N.C.), Randol Rojas (Valencia, VZ) and Joe Van Meter (Glen Allen, VA). Infielder Edwin Garcia (Carabobo, VZ) and outfielder Chris Grayson (Monroe, LA) also return for a second stint.

Van Meter posted a 2.06 earned run average for the Pelicans in 25 appearances last season, contributing to the team’s league-best 3.28 ERA. Rojas won a team-leading nine games and turned in a 3.73 ERA while Jackson went 5-2 with a 4.39 ERA.

Robinson (Las Vegas, NV), Cone and Adams formed a formidable RBI trio last season in Hickory. Adams and Robinson each knocked in 67 runs while Cone drove in 64. The threesome combined for 39 home runs. New to the Pelicans is Jerad Eickhoff who won a team-best 13 games for the Crawdads.

Several Pelicans spent last season in the Northwest League with the Spokane Indians. Outfielder Royce Bolinger (Scottsdale, AZ) led the Indians with a .301 average in 66 games after graduating from nearby Gonzaga University. Catcher Patrick Cantwell (West Islip, N.Y.) and pitchers Alec Asher (Lakeland, FL) and Ryan Harvey (Manalapan, NJ) are all making the leap to full-season. A complete roster is attached.

Manager Jason Wood returns for his third season and is the only Carolina League Manager to guide his team to the postseason in 2011 and 2012. He’s joined by pitching coach Steve Mintz (first year), hitting coach Josue Perez (first year) and assistant coach Humberto Miranda (first year). The Pelicans finished 74-65 in 2012 and lost in the divisional round of the postseason.

The Pelicans begin play next Thursday, April 4 when the Wilmington BlueRocks come to town for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. Single game tickets are available for purchase by calling 918-6000 or online at www.myrtlebeachpelicans.com.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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