One of York Revolution's top 2021 sluggers will return to team for 2022

STAFF REPORT
Carlos Castro hit .352 with the York Revolution in 2021. He's been re-signed for the 2022 season.

One of the York Revolution's top 2021 sluggers will return to the team in 2022.

Carlos Castro will be back after a strong first season in York, when he batted .352 with 17 home runs and 59 RBIs in 70 games. He battered Atlantic League pitching to the tune of a .617 slugging percentage and an OPS (on-base-plus-slugging percentage) north of 1.000.

Castro also spent time in the Mexican League during its postseason and in the Dominican Winter League this offseason. In York, Castro drew regular starts at first base as well as at catcher for the first time since 2014, when he was a 20-year-old Atlanta Braves prospect in the Dominican Summer League.

Castro was among three signings announced by manager Mark Mason on Monday’s airing of Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK.

Mason also announced the addition of catcher Lenin Rodriguez and outfielder Zach Racusin. Rodriguez, like Castro, returns for a second season with the Revs.

Mason is happy to have the 27-year-old Castro back in York.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever been around a player who held an average as high as his for as long as he did,” Mason said in a news release. “He hit everything. He has a knack to put the ball in play and has a lot of power to go with it. He caught a lot last year, but he can play first base, which gives us a lot of flexibility, along with the DH spot, where we can maintain a really potent lineup with one guy protecting the other all the way down the order.”

Castro brings a career .290 average into the 2022 season. After signing in 2011, he spent his first six years in the Braves organization and was an MiLB.com Organization All-Star in 2016, when he tied for fifth in the South Atlantic League with a career-high 17 home runs, a mark that he matched last season in York. He was also a Florida State League All-Star in 2017 and spent two seasons in the Frontier League with Evansville before signing with the Revs.

Lenin Rodriguez will return as a catcher for the York Revolution for the 2022 season.

Rodriguez formerly with O's, Phils organizations: Rodriguez joined the Revs in mid-June of last season, and ended up leading the team in both games played (55) and starts (44) behind the plate, while holding the lowest staff ERA among the team’s backstops.

Rodriguez batted .205 with one homer and 13 RBIs and even saw action defensively at second base in a pair of games. The Venezuela native will turn 24 on March 26 and enters his seventh pro season, having previously played in both the Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles organizations.

“He has really good receiving, blocking, and throwing skills,” Mason said in the news release. “He also had one of the toughest batting averages because he did hit the ball a lot, just right at people. He gives us flexibility. He knows a lot of the pitchers. It’s really good to have him back.”

Zach Racusin owns a career .301 average as a pro player.

Racusin a career .301 hitter: Racusin enters his sixth pro season and carries a .301 career average, having excelled primarily in the Frontier League in recent seasons.

The 28-year-old began his pro career in the Atlantic League with Somerset in 2017, appearing in 17 games with the Patriots after concluding his collegiate career at Georgetown, where he was the Hoyas’ top hitter. During his first full pro season in 2018, Racusin batted .296 between Lake Erie (Frontier) and Chicago (American Association). He returned to Lake Erie in both 2019 and 2021 and last season combined to hit .294 with 25 steals while also suiting up for Windy City. Racusin owns 74 career steals and a .361 on-base percentage.

“He can play all three outfield positions well,” Mason said in the news release. “He can steal bases, hits lots of doubles and singles, doesn’t strike out very much at all. We’re excited to bring him in here and see what he can do.”

The Revs now have 13 players under contract for the 2022 season and will continue to unveil new signings on Revs Hot Stove Weekly. The next episode is set to air on Monday, March 14.