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Rocket Wins Carolina League Manager of the Year Award

August 26, 2008 - Carolina League (CarL) - Myrtle Beach Pelicans News Release

MYRTLE BEACH, SC - The Carolina League has announced its post-season awards and All-Stars, and the Pelicans were the most decorated Carolina League club as third-year manager Rocket Wheeler was named Manager of the Year, while a league-high five pelicans were honored as post-season All-Stars.

Wheeler has guided the Pelicans to the most wins of any team in minor league baseball in 2008 (87), and his club will return to the post-season as the first half Southern Division champions. The Pelicans are also leading the second half race by four games with five games remaining in their 2008 regular season. It has been a season to remember for Wheeler, who will also guide the Mesa Solar Sox following the season in the prestigious Arizona Fall League. Wheeler was also named Manager of the Year in the Florida State League in 1999 (Dunedin Blue Jays) and the New York-Penn League in 1996. He was also Braves' Minor League Coach of the Year in 2003 when his Rome Braves claimed the South Atlantic League Championship.

Joining Wheeler garnering post-season accolades are five of his players, all recognized as post-season All-Stars. Tyler Flowers (.286, 16 HR, 82 RBI) has been named as the Carolina League's All-Star catcher, Travis Jones (.250, 16 HR, 75 RBI) tied Kinston's Niuman Romero for the nod at second base, Brandon Hicks (.232, 19 HR, 55 RBI) was voted as the league's All-Star shortstop, Willie Cabrera (.290, 16 HR, 78 RBI) was recognized as one of three outfielders selected and Ernesto Mejia (.274, 20 HR, 88 RBI) was chosen as the All-Star designated hitter. Hicks, Jones and Mejia were also mid-season All-Stars, competing in the 2008 Carolina-California League All-Star game at BB&T Coastal Field. Cabrera was promoted last week to Double-A Mississippi.

Kinston's Beau Mills was selected as the league's Most Valuable Player, while Frederick's Jake Arrieta was chosen as the league's top pitcher. The Kinston Indians placed four players, the second-most, on the post-season All-Star team.

Voting for these superlatives and the honorary year-end All-Star team was done by league managers, general managers and media. Trainer Chad Wolfe of Kinston was selected in a vote of his peers conducted by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society.

2008 Carolina League Post-Season Awards:

Starting Pitcher Jake Arrieta, Frederick

Relief Pitcher (tie) Luis Perdomo, Kinston

Kanekoa Texeira, Winston-Salem

Catcher Tyler Flowers, Myrtle Beach

First Base Beau Mills, Kinston

Second Base (tie) Travis Jones, Myrtle Beach

Niuman Romero, Kinston

Shortstop Brandon Hicks, Myrtle Beach

Third Base Jim Negrych, Lynchburg

Utility Infield (tie) Mark Ori, Salem

CJ Retherford, Winston-Salem

Outfield Willie Cabrera, Myrtle Beach

John Shelby III, Winston-Salem

Joe Dickerson, Wilmington

Utility Outfield Jordan Parraz, Salem

Designated Hitter Ernesto Mejia, Myrtle Beach Manager Rocket Wheeler, Myrtle Beach

Trainer Chad Wolfe, Kinston *Leads League

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