(May 11, 2021, York, Pa.) — The York Revolution announced their final three preseason roster additions for 2021 with right-handed pitchers Eduardo Rivera, Alex Vargas, and Bruce Bell all brought on board. The signings were unveiled live by Revs manager Mark Mason on Monday’s preseason finale of Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK.
Rivera, 28, enters his ninth professional season. The right-hander spent his most recent season playing in both the Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants organizations in 2018. After making five relief appearances with 17 strikeouts for Single-A Augusta, Rivera was claimed off waivers by the Angels and sent to High-A Inland Empire. In 30 games with the 66ers, the La Romana, Dominican Republic, native compiled 67 strikeouts and two saves in 44.0 relief innings.
Signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 2010, Rivera spent seven seasons in the Yankees organization, stringing together several impressive years. After beginning his career with three years in the Dominican Summer League and a season in the Gulf Coast League, the 6-foot-5 reliever went 2-0 with one save and a 3.06 ERA for Pulaski of the Appalachian League in 2015, allowing just 25 hits and striking out 46 batters in 35.1 innings. Across three different minor league levels in 2016, Rivera posted a 1.34 ERA and three saves with 47 strikeouts and just 22 hits allowed in 33.2 relief innings between Tampa, Charleston, and Staten Island. With Staten Island in 2017, Rivera went 3-2 with six saves and a 1.90 ERA, yielding a mere 12 hits while fanning 33 in 23.2 innings. In his minor league career, Rivera has a 4.97 ERA with 355 punch outs in 293.1 total innings of work.
Mason scouted Rivera at a professional tryout camp held at PeoplesBank Park last month.
“He’s a hard thrower and has a big breaking ball,” commented Mason. “He’s had a lot of minor league experience and has had some really good years. His stuff is electric, and the ball comes out of his hand effortlessly and jumps at the catcher. It was pretty impressive.”
Vargas, 27, enters his fifth professional season. The Freeport, New York, native spent the 2020 season in the All-American Baseball Challenge, a pop-up league created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic causing the Frontier League to cancel the 2020 season. Pitching for the Sussex County Miners, Vargas struck out in 13 in 13.0 innings with four saves across 12 appearances. The 5-foot-11 hurler also has experience pitching in the Canadian-American Association and United Shore League. In his pro career, Vargas sports a 4.87 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 40.2 innings.
Also scouted at the recent tryout camp in York, Vargas, a converted shortstop, was drafted by the Houston Astros (39th round, 2015) out of the junior college level in 2015, but elected to attend Quinnipiac University before turning pro two years later. During his first professional season in 2017, Vargas did not allow an earned run over 10 appearances between Rockland and Ottawa, surrendering just five hits in 12.2 innings.
“When he’s right, he can easily throw 95 and above,” remarked Mason. “Even on the cold day at the tryout, he was throwing 93 to 94. I’ve gotten to watch him pitch previously, and he passes the eye test. I like guys that throw hard coming out of the bullpen. We’re excited to bring him in. He has a workman attitude, and he wants to come in and wants to get better.”
Bell, 24, enters his third professional season in 2021. The six-foot right-hander has experience pitching in the Pecos League, United Shore Professional Baseball League, and the Empire League. Mason saw Bell pitch in-person last summer and fall during the 2020 Empire League Series, where Bell toed the rubber for the Brilliance Sox against the Mason-managed Saranac Lake Surge. In six starts, the Kentucky native was 4-1 with a 2.93 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 40.0 innings and spun a postseason complete game in his final performance. In his career, Bell, who authored a perfect game during his college career at University of Pikeville (KY), has a 3.74 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 53.0 professional innings.
“This kid is a bulldog,” stated Mason. “He comes right after hitters, he works fast, keeps the ball down in the zone. Every time I saw him pitch he was out there deep into the game. I really liked what I saw. If he can bring what I saw in September to York this spring, I think everybody will be happy about that.”
The Revs now have 25 players under contract for the 2021 season with spring training workouts set to begin at PeoplesBank Park next week. Tickets for all 2021 York Revolution home games, including Opening Night on Friday, May 28 vs. the High Point Rockers, are available online at www.yorkrevolution.com.