Rocket Wins Carolina League Manager of the Year Award
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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