Kinston, North Carolina - The Texas Rangers and Down East Wood Ducks announced the first roster to break minor league camp in Surprise, AZ and join the inaugural season in Kinston.
Among the roster are four prospects featured on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 list for the Rangers farm system. Those four are left-handed pitchers Brett Martin (No. 5) and Joe Palumbo (No. 6), infielder Josh Morgan (No. 13), and outfielder Jairo Beras (No. 16).
Martin and Palumbo are just a bit of the strong pitching staff entering the Carolina League with the Woodies. 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 and hitless innings while collecting 15 strikeouts in game two of the series against Visalia. Palumbo was a model of consistency last season, leading the South Atlantic League with 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings with the Hickory Crawdads.
Offensively, the Wood Ducks bring proven hitters Josh Morgan and Jairo Beras the “pitchers’ league.” Morgan is a career .300 hitter in his three minor league seasons and finished with the fourth-best average on High Desert’s championship roster. The Dominican-born Beras enjoyed a breakout power year with career-highs in home runs (22), runs batted in (78), and doubles (28) 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.
The full roster breakdown is on the following page. Fans will get the chance to meet the team on Sunday, April 2nd, with a free open practice starting at 6:00 p.m. Ticket representatives will be on hand for season ticket or flex pack interest and limited concessions will be available. The practice is schedule to end at 8:00 p.m. with the players available for autographs after.
On Monday, the Woodies are in action with a scrimmage against the University of Mount Olive. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. with all tickets available for $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.
Follow the Wood Ducks on social media all season long. Like us on Facebook at Down East Wood Ducks, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @GoWoodDucks and stay linked at WoodDucksBaseball.com.
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