Around the League

Atlantic League Player Signings, April 4, 2022

Crabs Bring Back MLB Veteran, Defensive Player of the Year

(Waldorf, MD, April 1, 2022) The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs announced the signing of two players on Friday afternoon. Outfielders Braxton Lee and Zach Collier are returning to Southern Maryland after magnificent 2021 campaigns.

Braxton Lee played just four games for the Blue Crabs in 2021 before his contract was purchased by the Cincinnati Reds. The former 12th round draft pick recorded 24 hits in 29 games with the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts, earning him a call up to Triple-A. The University of Mississippi product has MLB experience, playing for the Miami Marlins in 2018. Lee had an astounding .438 batting average in his short stint with the Crabs in 2021, reaching base safely in half of his at-bats.

Zach Collier returns to Southern Maryland after a career year in 2021. The Long Beach, California native was drafted in the first round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. Collier spent six seasons in the Phillies Organization, followed by four with the Nationals organization. The 31 year old was the Blue Crabs’ 2021 Defensive Player of the Year, and made a SportsCenter Top 10 catch in 2021. Collier was a wizard offensively for the Blue Crabs as well, he finished the season top four in the Atlantic League in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, and triples.

“Braxton Lee was great in his short time with us in 2021 and we are excited to see him continue that success,” said Blue Crabs GM Courtney Knichel. “Zach Collier was elite in 2021, and will be key for us adding run support to our outstanding pitching” she added.

About the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs

The Blue Crabs play in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, MLB’s Premiere Partner League. The Blue Crabs are set to kick off their 14th season of baseball, and will have their 2022 Home Opener on Tuesday, April 26th at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, Maryland. For more information on the Blue Crabs, please call 301-638-9788 or visit for more information. For media requests, contact Andrew Bandstra, 301-678-1124.

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

About The Atlantic League The Atlantic League is the first Partner League of Major League Baseball, a player gateway to the major leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation. ALPB has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing 42 million fans to its family friendly ballparks over its 24-year history. Please visit



Right-hander returns to Long Island after having contract purchased in 2021


(Central Islip, N.Y., March 31, 2022) – The Long Island Ducks today announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Akeel Morris. The three-year MLB veteran begins his second season with the Ducks, third in the Atlantic League and 12th in professional baseball.

“Akeel’s success in the Atlantic League last year gave him the opportunity to return to an MLB organization,” said Ducks President/GM Michael Pfaff. “We are excited to welcome him back and help him in his quest to return to the big leagues.”

Morris began 2021 with the Ducks and did not allow a single run in his two starts with the team. He threw 11 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and four walks while striking out 12. His contract was purchased by the San Francisco Giants on June 11, and he was assigned to Double-A Richmond. The Florida resident went on to go 6-0 with a 3.67 ERA and 65 strikeouts to 11 walks in 10 starts with Richmond and was also promoted to Triple-A Sacramento, where he made five appearances (four starts). Morris ended the year strong, going 5-0 with a 1.77 ERA in seven starts with Richmond.

Prior to joining the Ducks, the 29-year-old spent parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues. He made one appearance with the New York Mets in 2015, eight with the Atlanta Braves in 2017 and nine with the Los Angeles Angels in 2018. The righty combined to strike out 16 batters over 22 innings in those 18 games. The St. Thomas native first joined the Atlantic League in 2019, splitting the season with the New Britain Bees and High Point Rockers. He combined to go 8-4 with a 4.75 ERA, one save and 75 strikeouts in 38 games (13 starts). Morris was originally selected by the New York Mets in the 10th round of the 2010 amateur draft.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to toe the diamond with the Ducks for another season,” said Morris. “Being in an organization with a history of winning is always a plus and guides you to set expectations for yourself as well. Having my contract purchased last season by the Giants was a great accomplishment for me. As a new season approaches, my goal is to simply give my team the best chance to win when I step on the field. See you soon, Ducks fans!”

The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, a Professional Partner League of Major League Baseball. Over 8 million fans have enjoyed the Ducks brand of affordable, fun entertainment at Fairfield Properties Ballpark since inception in 2000. For further information, visit or call 631-940-DUCK (3825).

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

The Atlantic League is the first Partner League of Major League Baseball, a player gateway to the major leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation. The ALPB has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing 44 million fans to its family friendly ballparks over its 24-year history. For more information, please visit


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