Myrtle Beach Pelicans announce 2021 roster
Roster is highlighted by Cubs’ 2020 first-round pick Ed Howard and CCU alumnus Scott Kobos
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Myrtle Beach Pelicans have unveiled their roster for the 2021 season. The 27-man group includes 14 pitchers, three catchers, six infielders, and four outfielders.
Buddy Bailey returns to the Pelicans as the manager for his fourth season after leading the club from 2016-18. During his first stint, Bailey won three half-season Southern Division Championship titles, one Southern Division Championship title, and the Carolina League Championship in 2016. Bailey has also tallied 2,140 career regular season victories, and in 2017 became just the 11th minor league manager to reach the 2,000-win plateau. This year will mark Bailey’s 33rd season as a minor league manager.
Highlighting the Pelicans roster this year will be 19-year-old shortstop Ed Howard. As the Cubs’ first round draft pick, Howard was the first shortstop taken in the five-round 2020 MLB draft. He was the 16th overall selection. The Chicago native was ranked as the fourth-best prospect in the Cubs system by Baseball America and fifth on MLB’s Cubs 2021 Prospect Rankings despite his lack of professional experience. Howard was put on the national stage when playing for the Jackie Robinson West team that reached the 2014 Little League World Series. Known for his defense, Howard will join the Pelicans this summer after graduating from Mt. Carmel High School in 2020.
Making his return to the Grand Strand is Coastal Carolina’s own Scott Kobos. Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, the right-handed pitcher played for the Chanticleers for three seasons from 2018 to 2020 before signing with the Cubs in July of last year. Kobos made 23 pitching appearances with the Chanticleers over his career and earned the save in the 2019 Sun Belt Championship game against Georgia Southern.
The roster also features talent from some of the best college baseball programs in the country, as seven Power-5 schools are represented throughout the club. The Pelicans will have two-former members of the Big 12 in infielder Ryan Reynolds (Texas) and outfielder Darius Hill (West Virginia). Hill was a two-time All-Big 12 Second Team member in 2016 and 2018. Two members of the ACC will also join the Pelicans as left-handed pitcher Adam Laskey (Duke) and infielder Grayson Byrd (Clemson) will bring their talents to Myrtle Beach. The Big Ten will send two players to the beach as 2019 All-Big Ten First Team outfielder Jordan Nwogu will trade out the maze and blue of the University of Michigan for the Pelicans blue and gold, and right-handed pitcher Sam Thoresen (Minnesota) will also help out the pitching staff. Nwogu was the thirdround selection for the Cubs in the 2020 draft. Jake Reindl (Arkansas) comes out of the SEC where he pitched for the Razorbacks from 2016-18.
As a key piece in the trade that sent four-time MLB All-Star starting pitcher Yu Darvish from the Cubs to the Padres in December, shortstop Yeison Santana will begin his tenure with the Cubs organization in Myrtle Beach. The Dominican Republic product batted .346 with 30 RBIs in the 2019 season with the Padres’ Arizona League team.
“We are really excited to welcome this group to Myrtle Beach for the 2021 season,” said Pelicans President and General Manager Ryan Moore. “We are thrilled to have Buddy Bailey return to the helm with a roster stacked with a ton of talent. It certainly is exciting, for the first time ever, fans of the Pelicans will be able to witness prospects making their professional debuts right here in Myrtle Beach.”
The Pelicans’ 2021 season will begin on the road on May 4 in Charleston against the RiverDogs. The home opener is set for May 11th against the Augusta GreenJackets at 7:05. The 2021 season marks the 23rd year for the Pelicans on the Grand Strand and the seventh year as an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. After competing in the Carolina League since the team’s founding in 1999, the Pelicans will now join the newly formed Low-A East, South Division for the 2021 season. Single game tickets and season memberships for the 2021 season are available now. For more information or to purchase tickets visit MyrtleBeachPelicans.com or call 843-918-6000.
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