Six former Pelicans heading to All-Start Game

Myrtle Beach, SC - From the Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Myrtle Beach, SC - The second half of the Carolina League campaign is well underway, but for the big leagues, the All-Star break is fast approaching.  All-Star rosters were announced on Sunday, and a bevy of former Pelicans will be sidling up with the best players in all of Major League Baseball.

All in all, six former Pelicans earned All-Star nods, and five of those players, Jason Heyward, Martin Prado, Brian McCann, Elvis Andrus, and Adam Wainwright, donned Pelican blue on their path to the Major Leagues.  Braves starter Tim Hudson played one game for the Birds in 2009 on a rehab assignment.

The first-place Atlanta Braves will send five representatives to Anaheim as Heyward, McCann, Prado, and Hudson will be joined by utilityman Omar Infante at Angel Stadium for the All-Star Game on July 13.  Heyward is the only Brave to be voted into the starting lineup by the fans, but he will most likely have to miss the contest while currently sitting on the DL with a thumb injury.  Heyward, a 20-year old rookie sensation, garnered a whopping 2,728,098 votes to join Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier and Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun in the NL All-Star outfield.  If Heyward, the youngest player ever to be selected as an All-Star starter, does end up starting the game, he would become the first rookie outfielder to start the contest since Minnesota's Tony Oliva in 1964.
 
For McCann, a Pelican in 2004, the catcher earned his 5th All-Star selection in his fifth season in the big leagues by hitting .261 with nine homers and 33 RBI.  He dealt with some vision problems early on in the 2010 campaign, but rebounded nicely by hitting .282 in May with three home runs and ten RBI.

Prado, part of the Pelicans 2005 roster, was selected to his first All-Star Game after enjoying a breakout season at the top of Bobby Cox's lineup.  With a week left in the first half of the regular season, Prado leads the league in hits with 115 and his .336 batting average is 15 points higher than the next closest slugger.
 
Hudson will be heading to the All-Star Game for the third time in his career after legitimizing himself as the ace of the Braves' staff just a year removed from Tommy John surgery.  Hudson is 8-3 with a 2.37 ERA in his first 16 starts and went 4-0 in the month of May with a 1.59 ERA.
 
Wainwright will be representing the St. Louis Cardinals in the All-Star Game, but he was a member of the Pelicans in the 2002 campaign on a roster which boasted 12 future Major Leaguers.  A perennial Cy Young Award candidate, Wainwright is 11-5 with a sparkling 2.34 ERA with three complete games and one shutout to boot.

Andrus, a 2007 Pelican, was sent to the Texas Rangers in the blockbuster trade that sent first baseman Mark Teixeira to the Braves.  After spending a full season in Texas last season, Andrus has solidified his status as the Rangers' shortstop by hitting .292 with a .375 on-base percentage and 22 stolen bases in the season's first half.

All of these former Pelicans will be strutting their stuff on July 13, but one current Pelican will be representing his ballclub two days earlier as starting pitcher Julio Teheran was selected last week to the All-Star Futures Game which pits the best minor leaguers from all across the globe in an exhibition showcase from Angel Stadium.  Teheran (3-3, 2.92) will join Triple-A Gwinnett left-hander Mike Minor as the two representatives from the Atlanta Braves organization.

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