Pelicans lose top prospect Alfero to Frisco promotion

pel-alferoThe Texas Rangers promoted Myrtle Beach Pelicans’ top catching prospect Jorge Alfaro to the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders. Left-handed pitcher Sam Stafford was reinstated off of the seven-day disabled list to fill the vacant roster spot.

Alfaro, 21, entered the season ranked as the second-best prospect in the Rangers farm system by Baseball America and the number 54 overall prospect in the game. In 100 games with the Pelicans, including 75 behind the dish, the catcher slugged 13 homers and a league-leading 73 RBI. The product of Sincelejo, Colombia also clubbed 22 doubles, netted five triples, and swiped six steals. He departs as the team-leader in homers (only formerly promoted Joey Gallo hit more for Myrtle Beach) and in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak.

Alfaro is coming off a three extra-base hit game on Saturday when he homered and smacked two doubles in his first three trips to the plate against the Salem Red Sox. Carolina League teams were reluctant to run on Alfaro who cut down 26.4% of basestealers (19-for-72). The 72 attempts against him are the fewest in the league among qualifying catchers, despite Alfaro leading the league in starts behind the plate. Alfaro was a Carolina League Midseason All-Star, and for the second straight year was selected to play in the Futures Game. Texas signed Alfaro as a non-drafted international free agent in 2010.

Alfaro was also honored by the league on Monday as the Carolina League Player of the Week. He led the league in slugging (.720) and hit .400 (10-for-25) over the week with a homer, a triple, and three doubles. He drove in five runs and scored eight. In the Pelicans’ 16-inning win on Wednesday, he collected four hits. He is the third different Pelicans player to pick up Player of the Week honors; Gallo won it three times, and Nick Williams won it once as well.

Stafford, 24, makes his return from the disabled list. He was placed on the DL on June 20 and missed 43 games. Before going down with injury, the Spring, Texas native pitched in 16 games, all in relief, and posted a 4.88 ERA with a 2-1 record and one save. In 31 1/3 innings, the southpaw struck out 33 and walked 29, allowing 28 hits, three of which left the yard. Between May 16 and June 2, he did not allow a run, a stretch spanning six outings and 8 2/3 innings. Stafford was selected by Texas in the 13th round of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft out of the University of Texas.

With the two roster moves, the Pelicans roster remains at 25 active players, which is the Carolina League limit, and includes two players on the disabled list.

The Pelicans are off Monday and open a six-game road trip in Wilmington on Tuesday night. First pitch against the Blue Rocks is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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