In news from earlier this week, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans announced that three players will participate in the California-Carolina League All-Star Game. Representing the Pelicans will be outfielder Mark Zagunis, along with starting pitchers Duane Underwood and Johnathan Martinez. The game will be played in Rancho Cucamonga, California on Tuesday, June 23.
For Underwood, only 20 years old, this is first All-Star nod. He is 5-2 with 0.99 WHIP in 56.3 innings. He has struck out 37 while walking only 16 on his way to a 2.08 ERA. Underwood is known for his plus fastball, which he throws in the mid-90’s with ease, and a plus 12-6 curve.
His teammate Johnathan Martinez is also 20 years old. Martinez earned his honor with 4-1 record over 49 innings with a WHIP of 0.94 and an excellent ERA of 2.76. He has struck out 27 while walking only 8. Acquired in return for Darwin Barney, Martinez is getting ready to celebrate his one-year anniversary as a Cub next month.
Outfielder Mark Zagunis has officially dropped the catching and is a full-time outfielder at this point. Zagunis was drafted last year in the third round by the Cubs out of Virginia Tech and has moved quickly through the system due to his command of the strike zone. One of my favorite Cubs prospects to watch hit, Zagunis leads the Carolina League with a .459 OBP due to his league-leading 49 walks in 53 games. He is currently hitting .305 with 2 HRs.
Surprisingly, those were the only All-Stars from the division-leading team. Second Baseman Chesny Young, who leads the team in batting average at .373, has only been at high-A for a month.
The Pelicans currently have a five game lead over Salem and could clinch a playoff spot in the next two weeks as the first half of the season comes to a close. The Pelicans will be at home this weekend against the Lynchburg Hillcats.