Former Pelican Maples makes major league debut

Right-hander is first alumnus since 2014 to play for Myrtle Beach and make MLB debut in the same season

Dillon Maples made his major league debut on Sunday with the Cubs at Wrigley Field. (Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans)

By Scott Kornberg / Myrtle Beach Pelicans | September 3, 2017 4:11 PM ET

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (September 3, 2017) - Former Myrtle Beach Pelicans right-handed pitcher Dillon Maples made his major league debut with the Chicago Cubs on Sunday against the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field. Maples is the 165th former Pelican to play in the majors, the 10th this season and the first from the 2017 squad. The Sanford, N.C., native is also the first Myrtle Beach alumnus since Alex Claudio in 2014 to play for the Birds and make his debut in The Show in the same season.

A 14th-round pick by the Cubs in 2011 out of Pinecrest High School (Southern Pines, N.C.), Maples struck out one in a scoreless sixth inning against the Braves in his debut. 

A one-time commit to play both baseball and football at the University of North Carolina, Maples compiled a 5.33 ERA over his first five seasons leading up to the 2017 campaign. He began 2017 with his second stint in Myrtle Beach, going 4-0 with a 2.01 ERA in 21 games. Maples struck out 44 in 31.1 innings with the Pelicans.

Maples earned a promotion on June 9 to Double-A Tennessee, where he posted a 1-1 record and 3.29 ERA in 13.2 frames over 14 games. The right-hander whiffed an incredible 28 batters, a rate of 18.4 per nine innings.

Less than a month later, Maples earned a promotion to Triple-A Iowa. In 17 games with the I-Cubs, Maples went 1-2 with a 1.96 ERA, fanning 28 in 18.1 frames over 17 contests before his promotion to Chicago.

Maples joins utility players Drew Robinson (Texas) and Chris Bostick (Pittsburgh), left-handed pitcher Chad Bell (Detroit), infielder/outfielder Ian Happ (Cubs), outfielders Lewis Brinson (Milwaukee), Mark Zagunis (Cubs), Nick Williams (Philadelphia), catcher Victor Caratini (Cubs) and right-handed pitcher Paul Blackburn (Oakland) as former Myrtle Beach farmhands to make their big league debut this season. 

The 2017 season is the 19th season for the Pelicans franchise and third as the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. For information on tickets to see the Pelicans in 2017, please call (843) 918-6000, e-mail, or visit

ABOUT THE PELICANS: The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs and play their home games at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The park has ranked in the top eight in all of Minor League Baseball by Stadium Journey in each of the last six seasons. The same publication also placed the Pelicans in the Top 100 Stadium Experiences in all of sports in each of the last six years and the best in the Carolina League for six straight seasons as well. In May 2015, TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark won the 2015 Certificate of Excellence award. The Pelicans are the two-time defending Mills Cup Champions, winning the title in 2015 and 2016 as well as 2000 and co-Mills Cup championship honors in the inaugural 1999 season. The Pelicans have made ten postseason appearances behind 12 half-season Southern Division championships, including the first half of the 2015 season and second half of 2016. For more information on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, please contact the Pelicans at (843) 918-6000 or emailing

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