July 18, 2006 - American Association (AA) - Pensacola Pelicans
Former Pelicans Clint Sodowsky, Edwar Ramirez, Josh Kranawetter, Gerardo Casadiego, Rafael Alvarez, Joe Espada, and Hunter Vick are all furthering the careers and finding success with Major League organizations.
Shortstop Joe Espada played for the Pelicans in 2004-05, hitting .335 with a combined 78 RBI and 42 stolen bases. He has since retired from professional baseball and is a hitting coach for the Marlins Single-A affiliate. Espada played professional baseball for 10 years, including six at the Triple-A level.
Clint Sodowsky had his contract bought earlier this season by the Atlanta Braves Organization. He started one game for the Mississippi Braves, throwing six innings allowing only two earned runs while striking out six hitters. He is currently on the disabled list, rehabbing an arm injury.
Edwar Ramirez, a dominant closer for the Pelicans last season, was selected to the United League All-Star Game this season as a member of the Edinburg Coyotes. On July 9th his contract was bought by the Yankees Organization and he will report to the Tampa Yankees of the Class-A Florida State League. Ramirez is the first player in United League Baseball history to have his contract bought by a major league team.
Josh Kranawetter was 4-3 with an impressive 1.77 ERA in 12 games as a starter with the Pelicans in 2004. He is now pitching with the Montgomery Biscuits, a Devil Rays affiliate, and is 2-0 on the season with two saves as a reliever. He has 11 strikeouts in 14.1 innings of work this season.
Gerardo Casadiego pitched for the Pelicans for most of 2004 and all of 2005. In that time, he had a record of 11-6 with 8 saves and 136 strikeouts. He started 2006 in Single-A ball with Tampa Bay where he earned 14 saves and struck out 27. The hard-throwing righty received the win in the 2006 Florida State League All-Star Game on July 18. He has recently been promoted to the Trenton Thunder, Double-A for the New York Yankees, where he has pitched six innings and tallied six strikeouts.
In 2004, outfielder Rafael Alvarez hit .353 with the Pelicans while hitting 12 homeruns and driving in 52 runs. This season he is playing for the Altoona Curve, Double-A affiliate for the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he is hitting .281 with 25 RBI. He has tallied five doubles, four triples, four homeruns and scored 31 runs.
Hunter Vick batted .229 in 14 games for the Pelicans in 2004 before his contract was purchased by the Devil Rays. This season he is still in the organization, playing for the single-A Southwest Michigan Devil Rays. In 59 games this season, he is hitting .201 with 5 doubles and 10 RBI. He has spent most of his time playing second base but has also filled in at shortstop, third base, and left field.
Other Pelicans have also continued their career in other professional leagues: Santos Hernandez, Joe Salas, Byron Batson, and Nestor Smith.