Four Pelicans make All-Star; Gallo captures MVP award

pel-gallohomerThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers, are pleased to announce that four Pelicans have been named to the Carolina League Year-End All-Star team, and slugging third baseman Joey Gallo has also been named league MVP, despite a call-up to Double-A before the All-Star Break.

The Pelicans, tied with the Potomac Nationals, had the most players named to the team, as catcher Jorge Alfaro and outfielders Chris Garia and Nick Williams also made the All-Star roster. Gallo still leads the league in homers with 21, doing so in just 58 games with the Birds.

Gallo, 20, won Carolina League Player of the Week three times, Carolina League Player of the Month in May, Rangers Minor League Player of the Month in April and May, Minor League Baseball Player of the Month in May, and was a Mid-season All-Star selection. He now adds the Carolina League Most Valuable Player Award award to his mantle. In just 58 games, the Henderson, Nevada native smashed 21 homers for the Pelicans before a June 8 promotion, and he is currently second in the minors in home runs with 41. He still leads the Carolina League in the category and is now just one back of the Texas League leader in longballs. In addition to leading the Carolina League in homers, Gallo departed the circuit’s leader in RBI (50), runs scored (53), on-base percentage (.463), slugging (.735), and walks (51) and was third in the league in hitting (.323). His on-base, slugging, and batting average would all lead the league now if he had enough plate appearances to qualify. He is currently two back of Cubs prospect Kris Bryant for the minor league lead in home runs, and the left-hander hitter led the minors last season in homers with 40. His 21 with the Pelicans this year ties him for the fourth most home runs in a season by a Myrtle Beach hitter and places him eighth on the team’s all-time career home run list. The Rangers selected Gallo with 39th overall pick in the first round of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Bishop Gorman High School is Las Vegas. He is currently batting .235 with 20 homers and 51 RBI in 64 games with Double-A Frisco.

Gallo is the first Pelican to win the MVP award since the Pelicans became a Rangers affiliate in 2011 and the first to win it for the team since Marcus Giles took home the hardware in the Pelicans inaugural 1999 season.

The four Year-End All-Star selections for the Pelicans matches the 2011 club for the most in the Texas Rangers era. Mike Olt, Ryan Strausborger, Robbie Ross, and Jared Prince made the roster that year.

Alfaro, 21, like the other three players to make the Year-End All-Star roster, was also a Midseason All-Star. Like Gallo, he picked up a Carolina League Player of the Week Award. It came during his final week at the Class A-Advanced level, when he led the league in slugging (.720) and hit .400 (10-for-25) over the week with a homer, a triple, and three doubles before his promotion on August 4. In 100 games with the Pelicans, including 75 behind the dish, the catcher slugged 13 homers and left the league as leader in RBI with 73, which is currently still good for third. The product of Sincelejo, Colombia also clubbed 22 doubles, netted five triples, and swiped six steals. Behind the plate, Alfaro cut down 26.4% of basestealers (19-for-72). Alfaro, along with the aforementioned Gallo, both started in the MLB Futures Game on July 13 at Target Field. Texas signed Alfaro as a non-drafted international free agent in 2010. In 18 games at Double-A, the catcher is hitting .247 with three homers and 12 RBI.

Garia, 21, was a late addition to the Midseason All-Star team and is the only player of the four honorees currently on the Pelicans roster, although he is on the disabled list. The 21-year-old still leads the league in stolen bases (45) despite missing the last ten games. His 45 steals is also the most in a single-season of Pelicans baseball in the club’s 16-year history and, with just one season with the club, ranks fourth on the career list. In 101 games with the Birds, Garia is hitting .284, the best average of his three stateside seasons, with a career-high 75 runs scored and 11 triples and a career-high-matching seven doubles and four homers. His 11 triples also paces the league and is the most in the circuit since Alex Presley hit 11 for Lynchburg in 2009. The primary leadoff hitter for the Birds has been on the 7-day DL since August 19 after an injury sustained in Salem on August 16. The Rangers signed Garia as a non-drafted free agent out of Curaçao in 2009.

Williams, 20, left the Grand Strand as the active team leader in batting average (.292), home runs (13), and RBI (68). Between his time in Myrtle Beach and a three-game rehab stint in the Rookie Arizona League, Williams posted career highs in doubles (28) and RBI (70), even before his promotion on August 15, playing in 97 contests, 94 with the Pelicans and three with the AZL Rangers. The Galveston, Texas product earned the Carolina League Player of the Week Award for the week of July 7-13, a week that included a career-high five RBI and two-homer game on July 8 at Carolina. Williams was the Rangers 2nd round selection in the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Ball High School.

This is the fourth All-Star Selection for Gallo (two postseason, two midseason), second for Alfaro and first postseason honor, fourth for Garia but his first postseason selection, and third for Williams (second postseason).

The Year-End All-Star list features at least one player from each team in the Carolina League and is voted on by league managers, general managers, and one media member per team.

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