(Central Islip, N.Y., July 20, 2023) – The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) today announced its 2023 Mid-Season All-Star Team, presented by Ballpark Digest, as voted upon by the league’s 10 field managers. Three Ducks were honored, including starting pitcher Stephen Woods Jr., relief pitcher Al Alburquerque and manager Wally Backman.
Woods Jr. made 11 starts for the Ducks. He compiled a 7-2 record with a 3.77 ERA, striking out 60 batters while walking 27 over 59.2 innings of work. His seven wins were the second-most among all Atlantic League pitchers in the first half (Mickey Jannis, High Point, 8), while his ERA ranked fifth and his strikeout total was good for sixth. The Huntington native’s success resulted in his contract being purchased by the Fubon Guardians of the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan on July 5th.
Alburquerque made 27 relief appearances during the first half of the season, one shy of the league lead (Bryan Blanton, Gastonia, 28). He posted a league-best 0.78 ERA, allowing just two runs in 23.0 innings of work, including none over his final 24 appearances (20.0 innings) of the half. The seven-year MLB veteran gave up just 12 hits and five walks while striking out 25 batters, recording a league-best eight holds along with three wins and four saves. Opponents batted just .148 against Alburquerque, and the righty posted a 0.74 WHIP.
Backman, in his fourth season as Ducks manager, led the Ducks to the First Half North Division championship and a berth in the Atlantic League playoffs. It marked the third time in his four seasons at the helm that the Ducks won the first half and was the team’s fourth half-season division title during his time as Ducks skipper. Long Island posted a 37-26 record in the first half. The team’s offense led the league in triples (14) while ranking second in runs (407), RBIs (384), doubles (126), walks (282), total bases (997) and OPS (.838) and third in batting average (.275), hits (582) and home runs (87). Four players also had their contracts purchased by MLB organizations or foreign professional teams.
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The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, a Professional Partner League of Major League Baseball. Over 8.5 million fans have enjoyed the Ducks brand of affordable, fun entertainment at Fairfield Properties Ballpark since inception in 2000. For further information, visit LIDucks.com or call 631-940-DUCK (3825).
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
Celebrating its 25th Anniversary Season in 2023, the Atlantic League is Major League Baseball’s first Professional Partner League, a player gateway to the major leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation. ALPB has sent over 1,200 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 45 million fans to its family-friendly ballparks throughout its 25-year history. Please visit AtlanticLeague.com.