KINSTON, N.C. — The first Down East Wood Ducks roster for 2021 was announced by the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

The 30-man roster will travel to Kinston before hitting the road to take on the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers for the May 4 season opener. 

All 30 players will be suiting up for the Wood Ducks for the first time in their careers.  The roster includes five of the Rangers’ Top 30 prospects that are ranked on MLB Pipeline/Baseball America. 

The top-ranked prospects on the 2021 Down East Wood Ducks roster are SS Luisangel Acuña (No. 6 by MLB and No. 8 by BA), OF Evan Carter (No. 14, No. 18) RHP Tekoah Roby (No. 24/NR), RHP Owen White (No. 17/No. 22) and SS Keithron Moss (No. 28/NR). 

Along with five of the Rangers Top 30 prospects, the 2021 initial roster includes:

  • 27 players age 23 or younger 
  • Players from six different countries (Dominican Republic, Panama, Venezuela, The Bahamas, Puerto Rico and USA) 
  • Eight players drafted within the first five rounds of the MLB First Year Player Draft 
  • Six players drafted out of high school 
  • Three players with immediate family members as former or current MLB Players 

Below is the full initial roster: 

Pitchers (17): RHP Dane Acker, RHP Ben Anderson, RHP Gavin Collyer, RHP Joe Corbett, RHP Mason Englert, LHP Joshua Javier, RHP Nick Krauth, RHP Nic Laio, RHP John Matthews, RHP Abdiel Mendoza, RHP Spencer Mraz, RHP Tekoah Roby, LHP Josh Smith, RHP Wyatt Sparks, RHP Nick Starr, RHP Leury Tejada, RHP Owen White 

Catchers (4): Antonio Cabello, Randy Florentino, José Rodriguez, Xavier Valentin 

Infielders (7): Luisangel Acuña, Jayce Easley, Cody Freeman, Dustin Harris, Cristian Inoa, Keithron Moss, Keyber Rodriguez, Evan Carter, Marcus Smith

Also of note, Stephen Mintz will be the Wood Ducks’ pitching coach. Jordan Tiegs will be the pitching coach for the Hickory Crawdads.

The 2021 season begins May 4, and the Wood Ducks open the season at home on May 11 at Historic Grainger Stadium. For more information about the coming season call (252) 686-5172, visit, or contact Matt Davis at