My family visited Myrtle Beach recently, so I took my eldest daughter to a pair of Pelicans games. She had a blast (and ice cream), charming several staff members and even getting her picture on the Pelican’s social media. Plus, we got excellent seats for $15.
Watching the Pelicans was immensely enjoyable, in part because the faster pace of play in minor league baseball really improves the experience. Pitchers were winding up six seconds after getting the ball, batters never left the box, and I was able to watch six full innings in 1.5 hours before my five-year-old showed the effects of staying up well past bedtime.
I also got to see several potential Cubs of the future. Among them was center fielder Pete Crow-Armstrong, whom the Cubs acquired in the Javier Baez trade last season. Crow-Armstrong has been immensely impressive with the Pelicans thus far (although he had a bad two games during our visit). I expect he will get the promotion to AA this season. I was also impressed with 1B/3B/DH BJ Murray, who went 2-6, with a homer, double and two walks over the two games we saw and who is having a good season with a .307/.405/.480 slash line. At 22 he is on the older side for a Pelican prospect, but if he can maintain this performance and get promoted quickly that should not be an issue.
Defensively, the Pelicans looked less polished. The Pelicans failed to nail a single runner from an outfield throw in either game (with several opportunities), while second baseman Reginald Preciado and catcher Ethan Hearn bumbled some routine plays. Still the Pelicans have been dominating the Carolina league, and I look forward to seeing many of their players rise up through the system. The Cubs need several of these guys dominating in Wrigley in a few years if the rebuild is to be successful.