GARY, Ind. — The Gary SouthShore RailCats added another experienced piece to their 2009 team today, agreeing to terms with outfielder Mike Massaro who spent part of the 2008 season playing in Triple-A.
Massaro, 24, spent the last four years climbing the ladder in the Oakland Athletics organization, culminating last season when he batted a combined .307 at three different stops. A contact hitter, Massaro has improved steadily since joining the Athletics in 2005, earning Midwest League All-Star accolades in 2007 before his breakout 2008 season.
Massaro split time last year between Stockton (High-A), Midland (AA) and Sacramento (AAA), batting .280 in 15 games for the Triple-A Rivercats. The left-hander spent the bulk of 2008 in Stockton, batting a career-high .329 with 14 doubles and 30 RBIs in 56 games. In 2007 the Colorado native batted .286 and banged out 140 hits for the Kane County Cougars (A) while boasting a .362 on base percentage.
Selected in the 13th round of the 2005 Major League Baseball Entry Draft, Massaro spent that season in the rookie Northwest League and played in 50 games for Kane County in 2006 before going down with an injury. In 332 professional games, Massaro has put up very solid numbers, including a .281 average and .351 on base percentage.
Massaro starred for three years at Division II Colorado State-Pueblo where he was a three-time All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference selection. Massaro, who also attended high school in Pueblo, made his Triple-A debut just outside his hometown against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox and went 4-for-5 with a triple.
The signing of Massaro gives the RailCats 22 players under contract for the upcoming season, including fellow outfielders Steve Haake, Cristian Guerrero and Rob Marconi. The RailCats expect to have at least 28 players in camp when the team opens Spring Training May 1.
The RailCats begin the 2009 season at home Monday, May 18 at 7 p.m. against the Joliet JackHammers. Season tickets, group outings, mini-plans and flex tickets are now on sale by calling the RailCats at 219.882.2255. Don’t miss your chance to experience the RailCats Tradition of Excellence in 2009 at U. S. Steel Yard.