Jun 25, 2013; Woodbridge, VA, USA; Potomac Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper (32) is thrown out at second base as Myrtle Beach Pelicans second baseman Rougned Odor (24) is able to apply the tag in the first inning at Pfitzner Stadium. Harper plays for Potomac in a rehab assignment. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
It was announced Tuesday that the Myrtle Beach Pelicans would not renew their development contract with the Texas Rangers. After several successful seasons of a happy relationship, Chuck Greenberg and the Pelicans decided to partner with the Chicago Cubs. The move was mostly about money. There are simply more Cubs fans in South Carolina than Rangers fans and also the iconic Cubs franchise brand will attract more tourists than your Texas Rangers.
The options left at this point for the Rangers for an advanced A affiliate are as follows: Carolina Mudcats, Daytona Cubs, High Desert Mavericks, Bakersfield Blaze. The ideal option would be the Mudcats located in Zebulon North Carolina. The Mudcats are in the same league as the Pelicans and are located about 200 miles from Hickory. They are the closest of the available options to the Rangers low A affiliate. A few years ago the Rangers had a development contract with Bakersfield but from everything I’ve hear about Bakersfield it’s by far the most undesirable of the remaining locations. Both Bakersfield and the Mavericks are in the California league on the other side of the country from Hickory; Daytona has had more rainouts in the Florida State League than Ranger wins this season (not actually but it’s close). This leaves Carolina and the Mavericks as the two leading candidates for a Rangers affiliation.
The Ranger’s developmental contract with Round Rock has expired and based on all the rumors and murmurings that I have seen there is no reason to think Round Rock isn’t where the Rangers will send their AAA kids. I am a bit biased towards this affiliate because a 3 hour drive to Round Rock is extremely doable. Also I just like the Express. Hopefully the Rangers can hold onto Round Rock and keep it from the clutches of the Astros.