Catcher receives invitation to Spring Training

(Central Islip, N.Y., Dec. 5, 2013) – The Long Island Ducks today announced that 2013 catcher Ralph Henriquez has been signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. He has received an invitation to Spring Training with the club and returns to affiliated baseball for the first time since 2012.

“Ralph provided a great presence for us behind the plate last season,” says Ducks president and general manager Michael Pfaff. “We wish him the best of luck with the Pirates organization.”

Henriquez joined the Flock in 2013 and alternated starts for the majority of the year with former Major Leaguer Ramon Castro. In 79 games, he batted .242 with seven homers, 28 RBI and 13 doubles and provided strong defense behind the plate. The switch hitter was outstanding offensively during the month of August when he hit .302 with eight RBI and seven runs scored in 17 games, posting the highest batting average among Ducks regulars that month.

The Florida native spent eight seasons in affiliated baseball after being drafted by the Houston Astros during the second round of the 2005 draft. He played in the Astros, Mets and Mariners organizations, reaching as high as Triple-A with the Mariners in 2011 and 2012. The 26-year-old has a .989 career fielding percentage and has thrown out nearly 25{fed8f40cd2a68a8c30440cd209af7e0b5f3e2c8d6275da881303f7d48df340f1} of base runners.

“I’m so excited to have another opportunity to fulfill my dreams and goals of playing in the Major League,” says Henriquez. “I really enjoyed my time with the Ducks. Being on Long Island really helped me become a better player. It was so much fun being able to win a championship with a great bunch of guys and staff, and it’s an experience I’ll never forget.”

Long Island had five players signed by a Major League organization in 2013 (Joash Brodin, Diamondbacks; Dontrelle Willis, Angels; Eric Niesen, Red Sox; Ben Broussard, Royals; and Danny Perales, Mexico/Angels). Last offseason, three Ducks were signed by Major League teams (Mitch Canham, Royals; Niesen, Mariners; and Matt Way, Diamondbacks).

The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and play their home games at Bethpage Ballpark. For further information, call (631) 940-DUCK or visit