News

Long Island, Southern Maryland, Lancaster, York and High Point Make Additions, March 10, 2022

IT’S TURBO TIME!

Speedy outfielder Johnni Turbo returns for third season with Ducks

(Central Islip, N.Y., March 9, 2022) – The Long Island Ducks today announced the signing of outfielder Johnni Turbo. The former Atlantic League champion and All-Star begins his third season with the Ducks and 16th in professional baseball.

“Johnni can change the game with his speed and is a terrific hitter,” said Ducks President/GM Michael Pfaff. “He has been an important part of our team the past two seasons, and we are excited to have him back.”

Turbo returns to Long Island after playing in 102 games during the 2021 season, his highest single-season total since 2016. He set a career-high with seven home runs and stole 31 bases, the third-most in the Atlantic League. The Los Angeles native finished the year with a .301 batting average, a .357 on-base percentage, 68 runs scored, 95 hits, 14 doubles and a triple. Turbo also set a single-game franchise record with four stolen bases on August 5 at Southern Maryland, the same day the Ducks stole 10 bases as a team, which is also a single-game club record. He first joined the Ducks in 2019, playing 74 games and hitting .277 with 43 runs, 74 hits, 10 doubles, a triple and 33 stolen bases.

In his two seasons with Long Island, the 33-year-old has compiled a .290 batting average with 169 hits, 111 runs, 35 extra-bases hits, 64 stolen bases and an .853 stolen bases percentage. He helped the Ducks win the 2019 Atlantic League championship after batting .353 in five games during the postseason. The outfielder previously played in the Atlantic League with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (2016) and Bridgeport Bluefish (2017), winning the Atlantic League batting title (.337 average) and earning an All-Star Game selection with Bridgeport. He also has spent time in the Philadelphia Phillies, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Angels and Baltimore Orioles organizations, reaching Triple-A with the Angels and Orioles. Turbo was originally selected by the Phillies in the fourth round of the 2006 amateur draft.

“My goals this year are to bring my ‘turbo’ speed to the basepaths, help take our team back to the championship and win a ring,” said Turbo. “I love the fans on Long Island and the excitement they bring to the game. I look forward to inspiring the future youth of baseball.”

The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, a Professional Partner League of Major League Baseball. Over 8 million fans have enjoyed the Ducks brand of affordable, fun entertainment at Fairfield Properties Ballpark since inception in 2000. For further information, visit LIDucks.com or call 631-940-DUCK (3825).

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

The Atlantic League is the first Partner League of Major League Baseball, a player gateway to the major leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation. The ALPB has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing 44 million fans to its family friendly ballparks over its 24-year history. For more information, please visit AtlanticLeague.com.

 

BARNSTORMERS SIGN FORMER CUB ZAGUNIS

Wanger Returns to Pitching Staff

Lancaster, PA --- The Lancaster Barnstormers have signed former Chicago Cubs outfielder Mark Zagunis to a contract for the 2022 season, it was announced today by manager Ross Peeples.

In addition, the Barnstormers have announced the return of right-handed reliever Ben Wanger from the 2021 staff.

The signings bring the total number of players under contract for the upcoming campaign to 15.

Zagunis, 29, spent a portion of three seasons (2017-19) at Wrigley Field. The New Jersey native appeared in 42 total games, with a .200 average over 55 career at bats. He picked up his first hit on May 9, 2018 off Miami’s Merandy Gonzalez, and two days later notched a double off the White Sox’ Luis Avilan. The right-handed batter hit .250 (9-36) with three doubles and five RBI for the Cubs in 2019.

After a stellar collegiate career at Virginia Tech, Zagunis signed with Chicago as the team’s third round pick in 2014. He batted a combined .288 with 10 homers between Class AA Tennessee and Class AAA Iowa in 2016 and spent the next three years, outside of his big league promotions, at Iowa, batting .267, .272 and .294 respectively.

He sat out the 2021 season.

“Zagunis is a veteran guy who will bring experience to the lineup,” said Peeples. “He will be a good right-handed bat in the middle of our order.”

Wanger, who turns 25 in April, joined the Barnstormers in late June and went 0-1 with a 5.67 ERA in 15 appearances. In his first two games, he yielded only one hit over four innings while striking out six. Seven of his 15 appearances were scoreless. Wanger was also 1-for-8 at the plate.

The Boston-area native was a two-way player in college, pitching right-handed and batting left as a first baseman and pitching at Yale and USC before finishing his career at Miami (FL), strictly as a pitcher. He hit .268 with 14 homers, including a .317-8-48 sophomore season with the Bulldogs.

Wanger was also a member of Team Israel in the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021, joining his Lancaster teammate Blake Gailen on the roster. Team Israel finished fifth in the six-team tournament.

The Barnstormers open their 2022 season at Gastonia on April 21. Lancaster opens its 2022 season at Clipper Magazine Stadium on April 29 against the archrival York Revolution with the game scheduled for 6:30.

About the Lancaster Barnstormers

The Lancaster Barnstormers are headed into their 18th year in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Home games are played at Ballpark Digest’s two-time Best Ballpark in MLB Partner League Baseball - Clipper Magazine Stadium in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Please call 717.509.HITS (4487) or visit www.lancasterbarnstormers.com for more information.

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

With teams throughout the Mid-Atlantic, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 44 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 24-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com

 

Mat Latos and Endrys Briceno Return to Southern Maryland

(Waldorf, MD, March 8th, 2022) The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs announced the signing of the past two Atlantic League Relievers of the Year on Tuesday afternoon. Mat Latos, the Crabs’ closer, and Endrys Briceno, the setup man, combine for a 1.85 ERA in 151 innings of work dating back to 2019.

 

Returning for his third year with the Blue Crabs, Mat Latos has solidified his status among the most feared arms in the Atlantic League. In his first year with the Crabs, the six-foot-six closer was named the 2019 Atlantic League Reliever of the Year thanks to a 1.06 ERA to accompany a 0.65 WHIP on the season. Latos was nearly untouchable in 2019, stringing together nine straight perfect innings, 14 consecutive hitless innings, and 20 straight scoreless innings. In 2021, the nine-year MLB veteran was 24 for 25 in save opportunities, and picked up three saves in under 24 hours to clinch a playoff spot for Southern Maryland. The 2010 NL Cy Young candidate was an 11th round pick by the San Diego Padres in the 2006 MLB Draft and played for eight teams at the MLB level before transitioning to the Atlantic League. The Alexandria, Virginia native brings MLB-proven security to a Crabs’ bullpen that already has vast experience. 

 

Endrys Briceno comes back to the Blue Crabs fresh off the best season of his career. The Venezuelan born setup man appeared in 51 games in 2021, the second most in the league. Even with the heavy workload, Briceno posted a miniscule 1.87 ERA despite the average ERA being above 6.00 in the league in 2021. In September of 2021, the 30-year-old struck out 26 batters in 13 innings, including a five strikeout performance in just 1 1/3 innings pitched on September 4th. The reigning Atlantic League Reliever of The Year is entering his second season with Southern Maryland after spending a decade in the Detroit Tigers organization.

 

“Mat Latos and Endrys Briceno were arguably the best two relievers in the Atlantic League in 2021. No one in the Atlantic League has a bullpen that can shorten the game like we do. If we have a lead going into the eighth inning and can turn to Briceno and Latos, we like our chances,” said Blue Crabs General Manager, Courtney Knichel.

 

About the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs

The Blue Crabs play in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, MLB’s Premiere Partner League. The Blue Crabs are set to kick off their 14th season of baseball, and will have their 2022 Home Opener on Tuesday, April 26th at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, Maryland. For more information on the Blue Crabs, please call 301-638-9788 or visit http://www.somdbluecrabs.com for more information. For media requests, contact Andrew Bandstra, 301-678-1124.

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

The Atlantic League is the first Professional Partner League of Major League Baseball, a player gateway to the major leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation. ALPB has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing 44 million fans to its family-friendly ballparks over its 24-year history. Please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.

 

REVS POWER UP POSITION PLAYER LINEUP

Castro, Rodriguez Return for Second Season; OF Racusin Added to Lineup

(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.

About the York Revolution: The York Revolution Professional Baseball Club is a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. The Revolution was Atlantic League Champions in 2010, 2011, and 2017. The 2022 season is the team’s 15th. Located at 5 Brooks Robinson Way, PeoplesBank Park hosts all Revolution home games, in addition to myriad events through the entire calendar year. For tickets or more information, please call 717-801-HITS (4487) or visit the Revolution online at www.YorkRevolution.com.

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB): The Atlantic League is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 44 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 24-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.

 

Rockers Add Two More Veterans to 2022 Roster
Diego Goris and ALPB veteran Junior Rincon coming to High Point

 

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers have added a pair of newcomers to their roster as the 2022 season rapidly approaches.  The Rockers have signed Atlantic League veteran reliever Junior Rincon and versatile infielder Diego Goris.

Rincon will play a vital role in the Rockers’ bullpen this season.  The righthander spent the 2021 season in the Atlantic League with Lancaster and Charleston. He started the year in Lancaster where he struggled to an 0-2 record and a 7.67 ERA in 21 appearances. Rincon, 30, was traded to Charleston on August 1 where he flourished and helped the Dirty Birds to the playoffs in their first season in the ALPB. Rincon went 6-0 with a 2.48 ERA and recorded three saves in 28 appearances with the Dirty Birds. Rincon finished fourth in the ALPB with 49 appearances last year.

“Watching what Junior did last year, the body of work he put on the table, especially against us, was special,” said Keefe. “He really threw the ball well. He’s a plus power arm with a 12-6 breaking ball.  He had a lot of success against us and it will be really nice to have him on the back end of our bullpen. He’s a guy who has shown he can go back-to-back innings when he’s ready.”

The Rockers represent the fifth ALPB team that Rincon has played for after starting with York in 2018, moving to Somerset in 2019 and playing with Lancaster and Charleston in 2021. His professional career began with the Miami Marlins’ entry in the Dominican Summer League in 2011.  He spent time in the Milwaukee and Atlanta organizations until 2017, reaching as high as Class AA Biloxi in the Southern League with the Brewers in 2016.

A versatile infielder who has played all four infield positions as well as catcher, Goris will be playing in the United States for the first time since 2018. He began his career as a 17-year old, playing with the Pittsburgh team in the Dominican Summer League.  A native of Santiago, Dominican Republic, Goris has also spent time in the Kansas City and San Diego organizations. The 31-year-old has logged over 1,100 games as a professional and has over 4,000 career at-bats while compiling a career .279 average.

“We are really excited to get Diego,” said Keefe.  “He played in Mexico last year but he’s looking at being able to come back to the states and get re-signed. We were able to have 12 players sign with Major League organizations last year and we think we can have the same success with Diego. He’s a guy who has proven himself at the AAA level. He can play anywhere internationally but I think he wants to get back to the Atlantic League and give himself a legitimate shot to be signed by a big league organization. Defensively he’s phenomenal. He has proven himself as a player and we look for good things from him.”

The addition of Rincon and Goris brings the number of players under contract to the Rockers for the 2022 season to five, joining infielder Michael Martinez, first baseman Zander Wiel and infielder/outfielder Ben Aklinski.

The Rockers will open the 2022 season at home with the Kentucky Wild Health Genomes at Truist Point on Thursday, April 21.  The Rockers’ initial homestand will include playing their first 13 games at Truist Point.

 

About High Point Baseball, Inc.

High Point Baseball, AKA The High Point Rockers, will begin their third season in the Atlantic League in 2022 in a state-of-the-art, $36M downtown ballpark, Truist Point. High Point Baseball is part of the fastest growing family sport in America and is committed to providing superior customer service and quality, affordable family entertainment for the Triad of North Carolina. The Rockers have built a fun and competitive atmosphere in both High Point and the Atlantic League while playing in the 2019 Ballpark of the Year.

 

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

With teams throughout the Mid-Atlantic, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 44 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 24-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.

 

 

 

 



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