|| Pelicans Selected for Arizona Fall League
|Pelicans Jarrod “Salty” Saltalamacchia (left) & Josh Burrus have been invited to play in the Arizona Fall League.
Didn’t the minor league baseball season just end? Not for five former Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Two Pelicans from the 2005 roster, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia and LF Josh Burrus will join three Birds from the ’04 roster, RHP Ryan Basner, RHP Glenn Tucker, and 2B Jonathan Schuerholz in Phoenix, Arizona for the next month and a half.
The five Atlanta Braves prospects will play for the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League, which will begin it’s 14th season on Tuesday, October 4th. Pelicans trainer, Drew Van Dam, also received the honor of being selected as the Desert Dogs team trainer.
The Arizona Fall League annually features the top prospects in Minor League Baseball.
- Each of the 30 Major League teams select six top prospects from their organization to play in the Arizona Fall League.
- Six AFL teams (Phoenix Desert Dogs, Mesa Solar Sox, Peoria Saguaros, Surprise Scorpions, Grand Canyon Rafters, and Peoria Javelinas) are assigned a total of 30 players each and
- they are divided into two divisions.
- The teams battle against each other from the first week in October until November 12th when the Championship game is held.
Saltalamacchia was selected as the Pelicans “Most Valuable Offensive Player of the Year” after hitting .314 with 19 HR’s and 81 RBI in 129 games this season. The switch-hitting catcher was selected to the Carolina League vs. California League All-Star game during the season and was also voted to the year-end Carolina League All-Star team.
His teammate, Josh Burrus spent the first 76 games of the ’05 season in Myrtle Beach where he batted .284 with 11 home runs and 53 RBI. The speedy leftfielder also swiped 25 bases, good enough for the league lead in stolen bases before he was promoted to Double-A Mississippi on July 6th. In Mississippi, Burrus hit .221 with five homers and 21 RBI in 46 games. He later received a promotion to Triple-A Richmond where he hit .316 in five contests with the R-Braves.
Both Saltalamacchia and Burrus will be reunited in Arizona with the Desert Dogs. A few roster spots are still open for the Desert Dogs and the Braves are set to send another prospect to the Fall League. A decision has not yet been made on who the 6th prospect will be.
Last Fall, former Pelicans Jeff Francoeur, Brian McCann and Macay McBride represented the Braves organization in the AFL. All would make their Major League debuts in 2005 with the Atlanta Braves. The AFL is considered the step before entry into the Major Leagues for many of the players in the league.
Thanks to MBBC’s Ryan Ibbotson for this capcom story
& to Steve Terry for these capcom photos.