Rizzitello Wins Pacific Association Rookie of the Year
San Rafael, CA– Pacifics catcher/utility player Michael Rizzitello was honored today with the 2017 Pacific Association Rookie of the Year award. Rizzitello becomes the first San Rafael player since the league’s inception to win the award.
“From a statistical standpoint Michael was the logical choice to win this award,” said Pacifics President and General Manager Mike Shapiro. “He was a lynchpin in our lineup all year, and he was the most versatile defensive player we had on the roster.”
A natural catcher, Rizzitello went undrafted after his senior season at Division 2 Dowling College in New York. The Ronkonkoma, NY native got looks last offseason from the Tampa Bay Rays, but signed with the Pacifics to begin his professional career. Rizzitello hit .280 in 65 games with San Rafael in 2017, hitting five home runs while driving in 40 runs. He was second on the team with 70 hits and third in RBI. Despite being a natural catcher, Rizzitello also finished second on the team with 12 stolen bases.
“When he came into Spring Training, Rizzitello showed us right away how valuable he was by playing all over the diamond,” said Pacifics manager Matt Kavanaugh. “Offensively, he possessed an ability to hit to the opposite field that isn’t often seen with hitters his age. He has a very bright future ahead of him.”
In addition to Rizzitello, Vallejo’s Sammy Gervacio was honored with the Reliever of the Year award, posting 18 saves which set a new single season league record.
Tomorrow will see the release of the Manager of the Year award, followed on Thursday by the Pitcher of the Year award. The league’s Most Valuable Player award will be announced on Friday.