The Long Island Ducks of Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) yesterday announced the signing of right-handed pitcher and Huntington native Stephen Woods, Jr., the son of former 2001 Ducks righty pitcher Stephen Woods.
Woods Jr., 27, begins his first season with Long Island and sixth in professional baseball.
The chance for Woods to play for the same organization that his dad did over two decades ago is not lost on him.
“I’m grateful for every opportunity to step on the mound and play the game that I love, but to get the opportunity to pitch for the same team as my dad nearly 22 years later is almost surreal,” Woods said on LIDucks.com. “The Ducks ballpark has always been a special place for the Woods family.”
Woods is coming off the thrill and honor of performing for Team Italy in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Now, he said, he is pumped and ready to deliver for the Ducks and improve as a professional.
“Coming off the high of playing for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic, I’m more motivated than ever to get out there this season and help the Ducks win while continuing to fine tune my craft and grow as a player and a teammate,” Woods Jr. said.
Woods has spent the past two campaigns in the Kansas City Royals organization. In 2022, he combined to go 2-0 with a 4.28 ERA in 41 games between Triple-A Omaha and Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He registered one save and 75 strikeouts across 61 innings.
Before that, Woods pitched with the Tampa Rays’ High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Florida State League in 2019. He amassed a 9-3 record with a 1.88 ERA in 18 games (12 starts), totaling 79 strikeouts to 33 walks in 86.1 innings.
The 27-year-old began his career by spending two seasons in the San Francisco Giants organization (2016-17). He made 23 starts for Single-A Augusta in 2017, going 6-7 with a 2.95 ERA and 113 punchouts over 110 innings. For his efforts, MiLB.com named him an Organization All-Star.
Prior to his professional career, the righty played his collegiate baseball at SUNY Albany and his high school baseball at Half Hollow Hills East High School in Dix Hills, Long Island.
The Giants selected Woods Jr. in the eighth round of the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft.
— Jerry Del Priore