September 5, 2011 - Carolina League (CarL) - Myrtle Beach Pelicans
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - The Myrtle Beach Pelicans have named former starting pitcher Robbie Ross their Most Valuable Pitcher and outfielder Jared Prince their Most Valuable Player for the 2011 season, the team announced today. Both players were named to the Carolina League's year-end All-Star Team this past week and claimed today's latest honors in a vote comprised of Myrtle Beach players and coaches.
Prince's award puts the finishing touches on a regular season campaign that saw him rebound from a brutal 4-for-45 start to the season. Over the course of 2011, the Washington State University product has been a constant engine in the Myrtle Beach order, batting .301 in 118 games since his tough beginning. The versatile offensive performer has spent 13 games or more at the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh spots in the order and currently leads Pelicans regulars in games played (130), average (.281), hits (135), doubles (30) and RBI (70) and is second in walks (46). Prince leads the Carolina League in on-base percentage (.374) and is the second-hardest batter to strike out in the league with one K per 12.02 plate appearances. The Poulsbo, Washington native also has made his mark on the Carolina League in a more painful way. Entering the regular season's final day, Prince has been hit by pitches 29 times this season, a mark that ranks second in all of Carolina League history, one behind the single-season league record set by Winston-Salem's Seth Loman one year ago.
Former Pelicans left-hander Ross also puts the cap on an outstanding season at the Class A Advanced level that came to an end on the field when he was promoted to Double-A Frisco on August 2. Through 21 appearances (20 starts) with the Pelicans, the left-hander from Nicholasville, Kentucky posted a 9-4 record and a 2.26 ERA while striking out 98 batters and walking just 28 through 123.1 innings pitched. Opposing hitters batted just .227 against Ross who represented the Carolina League along with then-rotation-mate Joe Wieland, Strausborger, and catcher Zach Zaneski at June's 2011 California-Carolina League All-Star Game in Modesto, California. Nearly a month after his departure from the Carolina League, Ross still leads league qualifiers in ERA (2.26), batting average against, and winning percentage (.692) and ranks second in WHIP (1.05). Since his promotion to the Texas League, the southpaw has continued his outstanding season, going 1-1 with a 2.61 ERA through six starts for the Frisco RoughRiders. Ross has struck out 36 Texas Leaguers and walked just five while holding opposing hitters to a .231 average in 38.0 Double-A innings.
On September 1, Prince and Ross were each named to the Carolina League's Postseason All-Star Team. Not only was Ross tabbed Pitcher of the Year for 2011, but the southpaw was also named the All-Star Team's starting pitcher. Prince was honored as the Carolina League's utility outfielder and was joined in the squad's lineup by fellow Pelicans outfielder Ryan Strausborger and third baseman Mike Olt.
The first-half Southern Division-champion Pelicans conclude the regular season Monday night against the Salem Red Sox at BB&T Coastal Field before opening up the best-of-five Southern Division Championship Series against the second half-champion Kinston Indians with games one and two Wednesday and Thursday in Myrtle Beach.
Tickets for all Pelicans games may be purchased by stopping by the ballpark, calling (843)918-6000 or (877)918-TIXX, or by visiting the Tickets page at MyrtleBeachPelicans.com.