Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers, the Down East Wood Ducks enter their inaugural campaign, playing all home games at Grainger Stadium in Kinston, North Carolina. Before moving to North Carolina, the Rangers' High-A California League affiliate had been located in High Desert, CA for the past two seasons after four years in the Carolina League at Myrtle Beach, SC from 2011-2014. Prior to that time, Texas had not been affiliated with the Carolina League since having a farm club in Salem, VA in 1986. Texas had its High-A club in the Florida State League at Port Charlotte from 1987-2002 and in the California League at Stockton in 2003-04 and at Bakersfield from 2005-10.
The Wood Ducks join a new Houston Astros franchise to expand the Carolina League by two teams beginning with the 2017 season.
Down East franchise marks the return of professional baseball in Kinston for the first time since 2011. A multi-year renovation project is planned for Grainger Stadium, the home of the Wood Ducks