The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A Advanced affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, have announced their Opening Day roster for the 2010 season. This year's squad includes eight players ranked in Baseball America's top-30 prospects in the Atlanta Braves system including pitchers Randall Delgado and Zeke Spruill. The first Pelicans roster of the new year includes 15 players who saw time on the Grand Strand in 2009.
Outfielder Adam Milligan is also in Baseball America's top 10 Atlanta prospects. Milligan spent time with Danville, Rome, and Myrtle Beach in 2009 and posted a combined .344 average and .985 OPS accompanied by 13 home runs and 49 RBI.
Right-handers Delgado and Spruill lead a Pelicans pitching staff that welcomes back eight hurlers from the 2009 campaign. Righties Yeliar Castro, Jaye Chapman, David Francis, J.J. Hoover, and Benino Pruneda join southpaws Jose Ortegano, Chad Rodgers, and Cole Rohrbough .
In addition to newcomers Delgado and Spruill, right-handers Juan Abreu (20) and Angelo Paulino and lefty Matt Crim are the other new faces rounding out the Pelicans' pitching staff.
Seven more position players return, including both catchers, Matt Kennelly and Jesus Sucre. Myrtle Beach will carry six infielders and four outfielders to start the season. Around the diamond are first baseman Gerardo Avila, second baseman Yoel Campusano, third baseman Shayne Moody, third baseman Amadeo Zazueta, and 2009 Pelicans shortstop Randy Gress and first baseman Geraldo Rodriguez.
In the outfield will be Cole Miles, Milligan, and Chris Shehan, all of whom saw time in Myrtle Beach last year, along with Jahdiel Santamaria. Outfielder Luis Sumoza will begin the year on the disabled list.
Manager Rocket Wheeler returns to for his fifth season as the winningest skipper in Pelicans history, a mark he set on September 5, 2009. This season, new pitching coach Kent Willis joins fourth-year hitting coach Rick Albert and 2009 Carolina League Athletic Trainer of the Year Chas Miller on the club's field staff. Matt Kepley is the strength and conditioning coach.
The Pelicans open the regular season Thursday with the first of a four-game home series against the Wilmington Blue Rocks at BB&T Coastal Field.
Single game tickets, season tickets, flex books, and mini-plans are available now, as are tickets to the 2010 California-Carolina League All-Star Game, through the Pelicans Box Office at (843) 918-6000 or (877) 918-TIXX or by visiting the Tickets page at the all-new MyrtleBeachPelicans.com