Pelicans place four players on ‘Top 50 Prospects’ list

pel-gallohomerBaseball Prospectus released its midseason “Top 50 Prospects” list this week and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans are well represented.

Four 2014 Pelicans made the list and another was listed as just outside the Top 50. Pelicans home run leader Joey Gallo, now in Double-A with the Frisco RoughRiders, ranked highest on the list among Rangers farmhands at number 13, followed by catcher Jorge Alfaro (#25), outfielder Nick Williams (#48), and Gallo’s now Frisco teammate Chi Chi Gonzalez (#49).

All four players were elected to the Carolina League All-Star team and were the only four Rangers minor leaguers on the list. BP also tabbed outfielder Lewis Brinson, who was promoted to Myrtle Beach from Hickory on Friday and joins the team today, as one of ten players “in the Top 50 mix.”

Gallo, 20, was promoted to Frisco on June 8 after an outstanding two-month romp in the Carolina League. He is still third in the league in average (.323) and first in home runs (21), on-base percentage (.463), slugging percentage (.735), and walks (51). He moves up 82 spots from BA’s Top 101 Prospects, published in the offseason. Gallo entered the season as the number 60 ranked prospect in the Baseball America top 100 and as the fourth-best prospect in the Texas system by the same publication. Since his move to Double-A, Gallo has smacked nine more home runs and is tied with Cubs prospect Kris Bryant with the professional baseball lead in homers with 30. Gallo was the 39th overall selection in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Alfaro, 21, is the active team-leader in home runs with 10 and ranks thirds in the league with 57 RBI. The catcher moves up 16 spots from the pre-season BA rankings where he was listed number 41. In addition to his offensive skills, Alfaro is fourth in the league in throwing out attempted basestealers (15-for-54, 27.8%) and has the lowest total of attempted steals against him of any qualifying catcher in the league. Alfaro entered the season as Baseball America’s second-ranked Rangers prospect and 54th overall, second among Rangers players behind only current Rangers second baseman and 2013 Pelican Rougned Odor.

Williams, 20, moves 42 spots up the list from his pre-season spot at number 88. Williams hit just .229 in April but followed the slow start with a .356 mark in May and a .348 average in June. In six July games, Williams is hitting .318 (7-for-22). Despite missing 14 games due to a hamstring injury, the outfielder is the team’s active batting leader, hitting .310, and is first on the club in doubles (21), third in RBI (50), and is tied with Preston Beck for second on the team with eight home runs among active players. Williams was a second round selection by Texas in 2012 out of Ball High School in Galveston, Texas. Like Gallo and Alfaro, Williams made Baseball America’s Top 100 at the start of the season as well, ranked 97th as well as third among Rangers farmhands.

Gonzalez, 22, departed for Frisco on the same day as Gallo after a strong first half in his first full-season of professional baseball. Drafted in the First Round (23rd overall) in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, Gonzalez posted a 5-2 record with a 2.62 ERA, which would be good for fourth-best in the league. The right-hander tossed a career-high eight scoreless innings on May 3 vs. Frederick and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Keys on the road on May 20. He moves up 21 spots from his pre-season number 70 ranking. Baseball America listed Gonzalez as the fifth-ranked prospect in the Rangers system entering 2014.

Brinson, 20, joins the Pelicans on Monday after a breakout first half in Hickory this season. In his third professional season, the former first rounder (29th overall) from the 2012 draft is posting career-highs in average (.335), on-base percentage (.405), and slugging percentage (.579). He clubbed eight doubles, a triple, and ten homers for the Crawdads, including five in his final five games for Hickory. Brinson began the season as the number 15 ranked prospect in the Texas system according to Baseball America and was outside of the publication’s Top 100 as well as Baseball Prospectus’ Top 101.

Alfaro, Brinson, and Williams are all currently on the active Pelicans roster.

In the midst of a seven-day road trip, the Pelicans return home July 11 to open a four-game series with the Lynchburg Hillcats.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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