Pelham pitches his way to 2nd all-star game

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By Robert Howey

Former Lancaster High School and American Legion Post 31 baseball star C.D. Pelham has pitched his way into his second all-star game of 2018.

Pelham, now a member of the AA Frisco [Texas] Roughriders, has been selected to play in the 2018 Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., on Sunday.

“I’m honored and blessed to be a part of something like this. It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Pelham said before Monday’s road game against the AA Tulsa, Okla., Drillers.

“I never saw it coming. I just go out and work hard every single day,” he said. 

Considered a fast-rising star in the Texas Rangers’ Minor League system, the 23-year-old Pelham is now ranked as the 19th best prospect in the Rangers organization by the MLB Pipeline. The pipeline is a collaborative effort between Major League Baseball and USA Baseball that ranks and recognizes baseball’s-up and-coming players.

The Futures game features Minor League Baseball’s top prospects in a USA vs. World contest. 

Pelham will play on the USA team and is one of the 25 players selected for the 2018 roster.  

Each Major League organization is represented and players from all full-season Minor Leagues were eligible for selection.

Pelham will team up with some of the brightest young stars in Minor League Baseball, including fellow Rangers prospect Leody Taveras, who will also play on the World Team.

Pelham is off to stellar start as a member of the RoughRiders. He’s only given up two earned runs in his first five outings for Frisco.

“I’ve already noticed that there is a difference in the lineups [in AA] because all the guys, 1-9 can hit,” Pelham said. “But baseball is still baseball. You gotta’ be able to go out there and pitch.” 

The southpaw reliever joined the club June 22, up from Advanced-A league Down East Wood Ducks in Kinston, N.C., where he posted a 1.95 ERA and was name a Carolina League Midseason All-Star. He earned the save in the Carolina League all-star contest, which was played June 19 in Zebulon, N.C.

Before his assignment to Frisco, Pelham, was a perfect 11-for-11 in saves for the Wood Ducks and had not allowed an earned run with the lead all season.

Sunday’s contest marks the 20th year of the Futures Game, with U.S. Team holding an 12-7 all-time series lead. 

Last year in Miami, the U.S. Team defeated the World Team 7-6 for its seventh victory in the last eight years.

Pelham is a 2013 graduate of Lancaster High School, where he was a three-sport letterman for the Bruins.

In addition to baseball, he played basketball and football. He was selected as Mr. Bruin, the top senior athlete in his graduating class.

The game airs live on MLB Network at 4 p.m. Sunday and is played as a preliminary to the annual Major League All-Star game July 17 at Nationals Park.