Atlantic League Bullpen, March 7, 2022

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Leading Off:  Long Island Ducks and MLB veteran Lew Ford recently offered a testament to the Atlantic League: “There are Major League-quality players right now in the Atlantic League. There has been for years. I saw that right away when I got here in 2009. There are guys that should probably be playing in the Major Leagues right now, and that’s supported 100% by the number of guys who have been signed out of the league and made it back to the Majors. That’s what the league is all about: Giving guys an opportunity to continue to play and have a chance to make it back. I felt overwhelmed when I did make it back to the big leagues in 2012 that I owed a lot of that to the opportunity to play for the Ducks. Without that chance, I wouldn’t have been there.”

Atlantic League Pro Showcase presented by Prospect Dugout: The Atlantic League Pro Showcase is set for Tuesday-Wednesday, March 22-23 at the USSSA Complex in Viera, Fla. Over 250 prospects are expected to attend and all 10 ALPB managers will be in attendance. The ALPB Draft will be held in the late afternoon on Wednesday, March 23.
Signings:  The Wild Health Genomes have five players with MLB service time ... The group includes LHP Brandon Leibrandt, RHP Elih Villanueva, OF Moises Sierra, RHP Max Povse and RHP Edubray Ramos ... Villanueva (Charleston) and Povse (High Point/Charleston) are returning to the ALPB after playing in 2021 ... Southern Maryland added a pair of RHP relievers in Patrick Baker and Pedro Echemendia as well as OF Jack Sundberg … Baker returns to the Blue Crabs for a second year while Echemendia is a former Cuban National Series player and Sundberg comes over from the Frontier League … Gastonia has recently signed a pair of returning players in C Ermindo Escobar and OF Reece Hampton while adding newcomers 3B Ti’Quan Forbes, INF Jack Reinheimer and INF Rayder Ascanio … Lancaster is bringing back OF LeDarious Clark and INF Jake Hoover … Clark played in 105 games for the Barnstormers last year while Hoover signed with Lancaster in August 2021 … Long Island added C Joe DeCarlo who is a 10-year professional veteran and was most recently in the White Sox organization ... Among a number of signings by York are returning players in OF Melky Mesa, LHP Austin Nicely, RHP Alberto Rodriguez and INF Josue Herrera along with newcomer RHP Merandy Gonzalez ... Staten Island made Kacy Clemens their first player signee. 
Returning All-Stars: Among the ALPB player signings for the 2022 season are a number of players who were named to the 2021 postseason all-star team . . . 1B Nelson Rodriguez of York hit .316 last year and was voted to the ALPB Postseason All-Star team … 3B Alberto Callaspo is returning to Charleston where he hit .335 and finished fifth in the league in batting average . . . Callaspo was named to the ALPB Postseason All-Star team and also to the Red, White and Blue All-Defensive team.
Coaching Staffs:  Staten Island has named Nelson Figueroa as its pitching coach … The Brooklyn native spent nine years in the Majors and posted 20 career wins ... Elih Villanueva will serve as pitcher-coach with Kentucky.
Front Office: Gastonia has brought on Brian Rushing as the Voice of the Honey Hunters … The Honey Hunters plan to broadcast all home and away games on terrestrial radio … York has announced the PeoplesBank Park will be cash-free this season, following a national trend throughout the sports and entertainment industry. 
Promos: Every Long Island Tuesday game will be a Triple Play Tuesday with a fan winning $25,000 if the Ducks turn a triple play … Lancaster released its 2022 promotions schedule which includes an 80’s nostalgia promotion on Opening Day, LGBTQ Pride Night on June 14 and a celebration of National Eat What You Want Day on May 11 … For the weekend of July 1-3, Lancaster will be renamed for a representative Lebanon Valley name that is being voted on by fans.

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