Down East Wood Ducks announce roster for start of season
KINSTON, Lenoir County - We know the Down East Wood Ducks organization is ready for the start of the 2017 baseball season. Now we know who the players will be that will represent the team.
The Texas Rangers and the Wood Ducks announced the team's roster for the start of the 2017 season on Tuesday. The announcement was made after the Rangers completed spring training in Surprise, Ariz.
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Four top-tier prospects will be part of the 25-man roster. They include left-handed pitchers Brett Martin (No. 5 prospect on MLB Pipeline's Top 30 list) and Joe Palumbo (No. 6), infielder Josh Morgan (No. 13), and outfielder Jairo Beras (No. 16). The team has 14 pitchers, two catchers, six infielders and four outfielders on the roster.
According to a press release from the Wood Ducks, Martin earned a late call-up to Advanced-A High Desert in the California League and was MVP of the league finals after throwing seven shutout hitless innings while collecting 15 strikeouts in game two of the series. Palumbo led the South Atlantic League with 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings with the Hickory Crawdads.
Morgan and Jairo Beras bring high expectations on offense. Morgan is a career .300 hitter in three minor league seasons and had the fourth best batting average on the High Desert's championship team last year. Beras had career highs in home runs (22) runs batted in (78) and doubles (28) last season with High Desert.
Two Cuban League signees will make their American debuts with the Wood Ducks as well. Yonder O La and Arturo Lara joined the Rangers in the offseason and are both listed as infielders.
Fans will get to meet the team this Sunday during a free open practice starting at 6 p.m. Season and flex pack tickets will be on sale and an autograph session will be held at around 8 p.m.
The Wood Ducks host Mount Olive University in a scrimmage on Monday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5. You can purchase tickets at the box office on Monday or the Wood Ducks front office, located down the left field side of Grainger Stadium, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 2017 Wood Ducks roster PITCHERS: Blake Bass, Wes Benjamin (L), Adam Choplick (L), Peter Fairbanks, Brady Feigl (L), Omarlin Lopez, Brett Martin (L), Joe Palumbo (L), Pedro Payano, Richelson Pena, Austin Pettibone, Jason Richman (L), Ricardo Rodriguez, Jeffrey Springs (L) CATCHERS: Carlos Garay, Chuck Moorman INFIELDERS: Josh Altmann, Frandy De La Rosa, Yonder O La, Arturo Lara, Luis Mendez, Josh Morgan OUTFIELDERS: Jairo Beras, Ledarious Clark, Michael O'Niell, Eduard Pinto