(March 8, 2022, York, Pa.) — The York Revolution continues to strengthen its offensive lineup for the upcoming season with three position player signings headlining the latest bunch of additions. Slugger Carlos Castro and catcher Lenin Rodriguez are both back for a second season in York, while outfielder Zach Racusin has been added to the club. The signings were announced by manager Mark Mason live on Monday’s airing of Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK.
Castro returns after a scintillating first season in York, where he batted .352 with 17 home runs and 59 RBI in just 70 games. He mashed Atlantic League pitching to the tune of a .617 slugging percentage and an OPS north of 1.000, while also spending time in the Mexican League during its postseason and in the Dominican Winter League this offseason. 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.
The 27-year-old started the season as arguably the Atlantic League’s hottest hitter, holding a batting average over .400 nearly every day through July 17, while becoming the league’s first to 20 RBI. Castro was nearly unstoppable during a stretch in June, going yard in five of six games and eight of 15 at one point and tallying a franchise single-month record .473 average, earning him the Atlantic League’s Player of the Month. He was a consistent force at the plate and picked up where he left off upon his return from Mexico in late September, going deep in three of his first five games back as the Revs made their second half push.
“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,” reflected Mason. “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 robust career .290 average into the 2022 season. After signing in 2011, he spent his first six years in the Atlanta 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.
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 home run and 13 RBI 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,” commented Mason. “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.”
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 and works in the sports industry year-round, owning his own training company, Rax Hax Pro Performance in Randolph, NJ.
“He can play all three outfield positions well,” detailed Mason. “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 live on Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy each Monday at 6 p.m. on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK. The next episode is set to air on Monday, March 14.