The Rutgers baseball team will see a key part of the nation’s best offense come back next year as senior infielder Chris Brito announced on Tuesday that he would be returning for another season on the Banks.
The first baseman is coming off of a banner year as a Scarlet Knight, earning his second All-Big Ten honor. Brito broke the Rutgers single season runs batted in (RBI) record with 74 in the 2022 season and led the team with 16 home runs alongside senior catcher Nick Cimillo and junior outfielder Ryan Lasko.
Coming off of his fourth season with the Knights, Brito was invited to spend the summer playing in the Cape Cod Baseball League. The league is known for its prestige throughout the baseball community as one of the best summer leagues for collegiate players.
Brito held up that standard playing with the Bourne Braves, leading not only his team but also the league in both doubles and walks.
In a game against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, he recorded a season high four RBIs. He also recorded the farthest hit home run of the summer with a blast going 455 feet. Brito left his mark on the Cape, being named an All-Star and helping his team to be crowned the league champions.
With this news bringing massive production back to the batter’s box next year, Rutgers also made an improvement to its pitching staff this week as the program signed Donovan Zsak to its 2022 recruiting class. Zsak is a left-handed pitcher who ranked as the 173rd best prospect in the country and the sixth best from the state of New Jersey.
Brito has the chance to continue making history for the Knights in his fifth year. With 32 career home runs, he is only 10 short of tying MLB star Todd Frazier’s program record of 42. He also has the chance to reach the program record of 191 career RBIs set by Jake Daubert, with 145 going into his final season.
Brito and the rest of the baseball program will look to follow up a historic season in 2023. Rutgers set a new program record with 44 wins in 2022 and set records in runs scored, doubles, home runs, RBIs, total bases and strikeouts. The Knights will be one of the favorites in the Big Ten this season, coming just one game short of winning the conference tournament.
"(Brito) is a really good baseball player who continues to improve every year," said head coach Steve Owens. "His list of accomplishments is impressive, and we are very excited to have his talent and personality back here for another season. He will be very hungry to help his team win and continue building on his already impressive resume."
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