(April 7, 2020) — Experience doubled down as the York Revolution announced the returns of infielder Henry Castillo and reliever Josh Smoker. The signings were first announced by Revs manager Mark Mason live on Monday’s Revs Hot Stove Weekly Presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 AM WOYK.
Castillo, 25, returns to York for his third season with the Revolution. The infielder was named an Atlantic League All-Star in 2019 and finished the year batting .293 with 117 hits, 47 extra-base hits including a career-high 14 home runs, 56 runs scored, and 67 RBI. Castillo had an electric start to the season as 14 of his 20 hits through his first 15 games went for extra bases (10 doubles, one triple, three home runs). The seven-year pro also posted a pair of career milestones, collecting his 500th career hit (5/9 vs. High Point) and 500th game played (5/24 vs. Lancaster) while with York last season.
The Dominican Republic native impressed in 44 games with York in 2018 after joining the team that July. The switch-hitter batted .310 with nine doubles, three triples, two home runs, and 22 RBI while seeing time at second base, third base, and shortstop. He hit his stride late in the year, batting .410 (32-for-78) in 23 games from August 20 through the remainder of the season.
Castillo spent his first five pro seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization and batted over .300 in each of his first two years in the United States. Castillo smashed 12 home runs for Visalia in 2016 and is now a career .275 hitter in seven seasons. While with Visalia, Castillo learned from one of the Revs’ all-time greats, former third baseman Vince Harrison. Harrison, who now manages the Kane County Cougars, served as the hitting coach for the Visalia Rawhide from 2016-17.
“He’s such a fun guy to be around,” commented Mason. “Not to mention his play on the field, as an All-Star last year, a switch-hitter with power both ways. He’s played a really good second and third base for us while filling in at short at times. He gives us versatility in the lineup and is another guy that plays hard and definitely has fun every day.”
Smoker, 31, enters his 13th season of professional baseball. The Major League veteran came to York last year in August after starting the season at Triple-A Oklahoma City (Los Angeles Dodgers). Smoker made 11 mound appearances for York including two starts, going 0-1 with a 6.05 ERA while striking out 17 batters in 19.1 innings. As a reliever, the lefty rolled out a 3.75 ERA in nine appearances (12.0 innings), in addition to a pair of scoreless, hitless outings during the postseason.
A first round draft pick out of Calhoun (GA) High School in 2007 by the Washington Nationals, Smoker spent his first six pro seasons in the Nationals organization reaching High-A Potomac. The New York Mets signed the 6’1 southpaw in 2015. A year later, Smoker made his Major League debut with the Mets on August 19, 2016, facing the San Francisco Giants. Smoker finished 2016 with a 3-0 record and 4.70 ERA in 20 outings at the MLB level. Smoker made the Mets Opening Day roster in 2017 and contributed a career-high 54 appearances for the club, striking out 68 batters in 56.1 innings. Smoker has also made Major League appearances for the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates in 2018.
In 82 MLB appearances, Smoker is 4-2 with a 5.35 ERA and 97 strikeouts. In his 549.1 career innings, Smoker is 30-30 with a 4.62 ERA and 585 punch outs.
“I’m so excited to have Josh back,” stated Mason. “Last year he was working his way back and did a really fine job out of the bullpen for us. We’re looking at him to have that same role that he had in the big leagues as a left-handed reliever and give him the opportunity to shine and do the things he’s most comfortable with.”
The Revs will unveil more signings next week on Revs Hot Stove Weekly Presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM and 1350 WOYK. The next airing will be on Monday, April 13 at 6 p.m., and also available online at 989woyk.com and on The New WOYK app.