Jorge Alfaro, shown here with the Boston Red Sox, has signed with the LIDOM’s Tigres del Licey. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network
The Tigres del Licey of Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la Republic Dominicana has added three players to the 2023-24 roster.
Catcher Jorge Alfaro, infielder Ryan Fitzgerald, and pitcher Stephen Woods Jr. have joined the 23-time LIDOM champions. The Tigres del Licey announced the signings on their official X account.
In addition, Tristin English, Michael Helman, Taylor Lehman, Dan Altavilla, and Nabil Crismatt have ended their contracts with Tigres del Licey for the remainder of the 2023-24 LIDOM season, according to ESPN Deportes.
Jorge Alfaro is the most recognizable name for both Major League Baseball and Tigres del Licey fans. The eight-year MLB veteran played in just six games for Tigres del Licey during the 2022-23 LIDOM regular season but was named the MVP in the winning effort against Estrellas Orientales in the LIDOM championship series. Alfaro’s efforts helped the Tigres del Licey win the 22nd Caribbean Series championship for the Dominican Republic.
Alfaro recorded a .383/.471/.633 slash line with two home runs, nine RBI, seven doubles, and eight runs scored in the 2022-23 Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana postseason.
During the 2023 Major League Baseball season, Alfaro played in a combined 18 games with the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies, hitting a measly .146 with one home run and 15 strikeouts in 52 plate appearances. He had his best success with Triple-A Worcester, batting .320 with six home runs and 30 RBI across 43 games. Alfaro will split the catching duties with left-handed hitter Francisco Mejia, who has a .838 OPS this season for the Tigres del Licey.
Infielder Ryan Fitzgerald is a left-handed hitter who played collegiate baseball at Creighton University. The 29-year-old can play shortstop, second base, and third base. Fitzgerald has spent five seasons in the Boston Red Sox organization and was Alfaro’s teammate at Triple-A Worcester this past minor league baseball season. In 95 games, Fitzgerald had 12 home runs, 60 RBI, a .268 batting average, and a .830 OPS.
“Fitzgerald is a player who gives us depth and flexibility in our roster,” Tigres del Licey general manager Audo Vicente said in an article on the team website. “His ability to connect with the ball and his knowledge of the strike zone fits perfectly into the design of the confirmation of this organization.”
“I am here because of culture,” Fitzgerald told Rosa Cuevas of Licey.com. “The Dominican Republic is the paradise of baseball and the most fun place to play.”
Right-handed pitcher Stephen Woods Jr. played for the Fubon Guardians of the Chinese Professional Baseball League and the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic
League in 2023. He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the eighth round of the 2016 MLB draft and was called up to Triple-A Omaha in the Kansas City Royals organization in 2022.
During the 2023 Atlantic League season, Woods posted a 3.77 ERA in 11 starts for the Long Island Ducks. He recorded 60 strikeouts in 59.2 innings, good for 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings. The Fubon Guardians were impressed by Woods and purchased his contract on July 5.
Woods appeared in three games for the Guardians and had an abysmal 12.54 ERA in 9.1 innings. He walked 14 and had three strikeouts.
“Woods is a pitcher with the ability to open games and act as a long reliever; it depends on what our coaching staff needs at a certain time,” Vicente stated on the team website. “That’s why we understand that he’s going to be an impact pitcher on our roster.”
Tigres del Licey will return home to play the Gigantes del Cibao on Tuesday, November 21, at 5 p.m. ET. They were 12-10 and in third place in the LIDOM standings heading into their Monday night matchup with Estrellas Orientales.