The 2015 Carolina League Champions Myrtle Beach Pelicans were honored and received their rings at Sloan Park prior to Sunday’s Cactus League game between the Cubs and Mariners.
The Pelicans won the 2015 Mills Cup Championship last season. And for many of last year’s Pelicans, it was their second championship in as many years.
Mark Johnson led Low-A Kane County to the Midwest League Championship in 2014 and High-A Myrtle Beach to the Carolina League Championship last year. Johnson looks to complete the three-peat with many of the same players this season with Double-A Tennessee.
Minor League Roster Moves
The Cubs acquired RHP Matt Brazis, 26, from the Mariners in December 2014 for OF Justin Ruggiano. Brazis appeared in 19 games in the Cubs’ system last season between Myrtle Beach, Tennessee and AZL Cubs. Brazis was 1-0 with a 2.74 ERA and 1.52 WHIP.
RHP Yomar Morel, 22, pitched in Arizona and Eugene last season. In 18 games between the two levels, Morel was 2-0 with a 4.11 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. With the Emeralds, Morel was 1-0 in 11 games with a 6.20 ERA and 1.67 WHIP.
Santiago Rodriguez made seven appearances for the AZL Cubs last season. The 21-year old right hander was 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. In 12 2/3 innings, Rodriguez allowed five runs on 14 hits with four walks and nine strikeouts.
The Cubs selected RHP Austyn Willis in the 18th round of the 2014 draft. The 19-year old spent his first two seasons in pro ball in Arizona. Last season, Willis posted a 3-3 record in 11 games, nine starts, and saved a game. Willis gave up 18 runs, 17 earned, on 42 hits with 16 walks and 23 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings.
RHP Heath Dwyer, 22, pitched for the AZL Cubs and Eugene Emeralds last season. Dwyer did not have a win-loss record after appearing in 12 games with two starts. Dwyer allowed nine runs, eight earned, on 25 hits with five walks and 28 strikeouts in 21 innings.
LHP Sam Wilson was selected by the Cubs in the 20th round of the 2013 draft. Wilson spent time last season with the Eugene Emeralds and South Bend Cubs. Wilson, 24, was 1-1 in 14 relief appearances, with a 5.01 ERA and 1.50 WHIP.
The Cubs selected C Jordon Hankins in the 11th round of the 2013 draft. Hankins, 24, played in 28 games for South Bend and Myrtle Beach last year. In 23 games for High-A Myrtle Beach, Hankins batted .227/.316/.348 with five doubles and a home run for a .664 OPS. Over three seasons in the Cubs system, Hankins hit .263/.328/.366 with 31 doubles, a triple and seven home runs for a .695 OPS.
OF Donnie Cimino, 22, played in 20 games for the AZL Cubs after signing with the organization following the draft. The Cubs selected Cimino in the 37th round. Cimino hit .217/.284/.233 with a double in 67 plate appearances.
Mota did not reach the majors but he had a good career in professional baseball. Mota played every position on the field, including pitcher during his 11-year minor league career. Mota spent a majority of his season a year ago with Triple-A Iowa. Mota batted .252/.297/.346 in 82 games with nine doubles, two triples and three home runs for a .643 OPS.
Mota, 28, was once considered a top prospect in the organization and spent a couple of springs in big league camp last decade.
In 11 seasons over every level in the Cubs system, Jonathan Mota batted .257/.313/.358 with 148 doubles, 18 triples and 39 home runs for a .671 OPS in 964 games.