Veteran outfielder, starting pitcher return to Flock
(Central Islip, N.Y., March 14, 2017) – The three-time Atlantic League champion Long Island Ducks today announced the signings of outfielder Fehlandt Lentini and right-handed pitcher Matt Larkins. Lentini enters his fourth season with the Ducks and 17th in professional baseball, while Larkins begins his second season with Long Island and sixth in pro ball.
“Fehlandt is coming off of a tremendous season for us last year, and Larkins showed that he can be an effective pitcher in the Atlantic League,” said Ducks President/GM Michael Pfaff. “We look forward to welcoming Fehlandt back and having Matt spend a full season with us.”
Lentini put together one of the best seasons of his career in 2016. He tied an Atlantic League record by playing in all 140 regular season games, a career high, and set a franchise record with 108 runs scored. The 39-year-old led the league in runs, hits (179), doubles (42) and at bats (571), the first three of which were career highs. He also ended the year ranking second in total bases (260), extra base hits (57), stolen bases (51) and stolen base percentage (.911), third in triples (6) and fifth in batting average (.313) and RBI (75).
Defensively, the California native committed just two errors while contributing nine assists in 134 games played in the field. Thanks to his efforts, Lentini was selected to play in the Atlantic League All-Star Game at Lancaster’s Clipper Magazine Stadium. In addition, he was named to the league’s Post-Season All-Star Team and Red, White and Blue All-Defensive Team. The outfielder played in all eight of Long Island’s playoff games and batted .281 with two RBI, three runs, two doubles and two stolen bases, helping the Ducks earn the Liberty Division championship.
The former Texas Rangers draft pick spent time in 2014 and 2015 with the Ducks as well. In 325 games over three seasons with the Flock, he has totaled a .300 batting average, 18 home runs, 159 RBI, 235 runs, 91 doubles, 10 triples and 106 stolen bases in 115 attempts (92.2%). He made his Atlantic League debut with Lancaster in 2012, posting career best figures in home runs (19) and RBI (92) while leading the Barnstormers to a Freedom Division title. Lentini has played 13 seasons of independent baseball after beginning his career in the Houston Astros organization. Entering 2017, he is the all-time independent leader in hits (1,685), runs (1,062), triples (72) and stolen bases (450).
Larkins was acquired by the Ducks from the Lincoln Saltdogs of the American Association in September of 2016. He made two regular seasons starts for Long Island, earning a win and allowing just five runs over 14 innings while striking out 10. He then went on to start a pair of postseason games for the Ducks, including Game Two of the Atlantic League Championship Series where he yielded just one run and two hits over five and two-thirds innings at Sugar Land. Prior to joining the Flock, the California resident compiled a 7-7 record with a 3.69 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 21 games (19 starts) for Lincoln.
The 27-year-old spent the previous three seasons with Amarillo of the American Association. He was selected to play in the All-Star Game during the 2014 season and posted career-highs in appearances (28) and strikeouts (98) that year. The Australia native made his professional debut in 2012 with Abilene of the North American League and totaled a career-best 2.88 ERA in 12 games (seven starts). In 113 career games (74 starts), Larkins has accrued a 32-22 record with a 3.81 ERA, six complete games, two saves and 354 strikeouts over 544 innings of work.
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 www.liducks.com.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games, and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.
For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.