The Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) have added three players to the fold, as outfielder L.J. Mazzilli is back with the Flock, as well as three-year MLB veteran infielder Sam Travis and former Houston Astros infielder Michael Wielansky.
Mazzilli, a former New York Mets farmhand selected in the fourth round of the 2013 amateur draft, who played with the Brooklyn Cyclones that same season, begins his third year with the Ducks and ninth of his professional career.
Most recently, the Connecticut native played in 101 games with Long Island during the 2021 campaign. He batted .303 with 11 homers, 69 RBI, 77 runs, 113 hits, 16 doubles and was a perfect 19-for-19 on stolen base attempts. Defensively, he committed just four errors and posted a .979 fielding percentage.
Travis begins his first season with the Ducks and eighth in professional baseball. The 28-year-old spent 2021 with Triple-A Tacoma in the Seattle Mariners organization. He played in 71 contests, batting .256 with 11 homers, 41 RBI, 38 runs, 71 hits, 19 doubles and two stolen bases.
The infielder spent three campaigns (2017-19) in the Major Leagues with the Boston Red Sox. He combined to play in 111 MLB games, posting a .231 batting average with seven home runs, 24 RBI, 35 runs, 59 hits, 13 doubles, one triple and three base thefts.
Wielansky, the Astros’ 18th round pick in the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft, begins his first season on Long Island and fourth in professional baseball. The utility infielder spent the first three years of his career (2018-21) in the Houston organization, reaching as high as Triple-A Sugar Land in 2021. He totaled four home runs, 39 RBI, 64 runs, 86 hits, 16 doubles, five triples, eight stolen bases and a .324 on-base percentage in 122 games during that time span.
The St. Louis native combined to play 18 contests with Sugar Land and Double-A Corpus Christi in 2021. During the 2019 season, he played 61 tilts with Single-A Quad Cities, hitting .254 with two homers, 25 RBI, 33 runs, 53 hits, nine doubles, four triples and a .345 on-base percentage.
The Ducks will host four spring training games at Fairfield Properties Ballpark in preparation for the 2022 season. Long Island will take on the California Dogecoin, a team from the Liberation Professional Baseball League (LPBL), and the Long Island Black Sox, a local amateur team, in two exhibition games apiece.
Here is the Ducks’ spring training schedule:
Friday, April 15 – Ducks vs. Dogecoin – 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 16 – Ducks vs. Dogecoin – 1:00 p.m.
Monday, April 18 – Ducks vs. Black Sox – 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 19 – Ducks vs. Black Sox – 1:00 p.m.
— Jerry Del Priore
Photo: Long Island Ducks