(February 8, 2022, York, Pa.) — The York Revolution kicked off the 2022 preseason signing period with a pair of returning stars, re-signing power-hitting first baseman Nellie Rodriguez along with his middle-of-the-order counterpart, left-handed hitting third baseman Carlos Franco. The first two contract signings were announced by Revs manager Mark Mason live on Monday’s season premiere of Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK.
To listen to the episode, click here
Rodriguez was an Atlantic League All-Star and named the team’s Player of the Year during his first season in York in 2021, enjoying one of the most impactful offensive seasons in the league and in Revs history. The slugging first baseman batted .316 with 25 home runs and 81 RBI in 91 games. He ranked 6th in the league in home runs and T-9th in RBI despite spending a month away while playing in the Mexican League. He also ranked 4th in on-base percentage (.444), 3rd in slugging (.603), 2nd in OPS (1.047), and 7th in walks (69). Those totals placed him T-3rd in homers, 1st in on-base percentage, 3rd in slugging, and 8th in walks in a single season in Revs franchise history, and he will enter the 2022 season as the Revs’ all-time career leader in both on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
Rodriguez enjoyed hitting streaks of 15, 14, and 11 consecutive games and homered in all three games of a sweep vs. Southern Maryland, Sept. 21-23, including a walk-off two-run shot on September 23 as the Revs made an exciting postseason push over the season’s final weeks.
“He’s a gigantic presence in the middle of order,” commented Mason. “He plays a really good first base, is a great clubhouse guy, great character guy. He missed some time last year between Mexico and becoming a father. Had he been here the entire year he might have had over 40 home runs just with us.”
Rodriguez followed his eye-popping Atlantic League campaign by tearing it up in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he crushed 14 more home runs with 48 RBI in just 41 games for Navegantes del Magallanes, giving him a total of 40 home runs across the calendar year.
The 27-year-old Rodriguez came to York after spending the first eight seasons of his career in the Cleveland organization, reaching Triple-A Columbus in both 2017 and 2018. As a Cleveland farmhand, Rodriguez was the Carolina League MVP in 2015, pacing that circuit with 17 home runs a year after slamming 22 bombs for Lake County, tying for the Midwest League lead. At the Double-A level, Rodriguez was an Eastern League All-Star for Akron in 2016. A 15th-round draft choice of Cleveland in 2012 out of George Washington High School in New York City, Rodriguez played for 16U and 18U USA National teams during his prep days. He enters the 2022 season with 171 home runs in his pro career.
Franco enters his third season with York in 2022. The heavy-hitting corner infielder first arrived in York in 2019, batting .319 with 13 home runs and 55 RBI in just 84 games played. He followed that performance by hitting .311 with 13 more home runs and 56 RBI in only 51 games played in 2021, while also spending a chunk of the season in the Mexican League, where he totaled nine more homers and 34 RBI between Tabasco and Oaxaca. Franco will enter this season ranked fourth in Revs history in career on-base percentage (.417), sixth in slugging (.539), and tied with Rodriguez for ninth in batting (.316).
“We’re thrilled to have Carlos back,” said Mason. “One thing about your lineup is when you have a lot of good hitters consecutively, you can’t pitch around anybody. He provides left-handed power, can play both first and third base. He’s a great guy too, lots of fun to be around, and plays the game really hard.”
Franco, 30, spent the first 10 years of his pro career in the Atlanta Braves organization, reaching Triple-A Gwinnett in 2017 and 2018. The Bani, DR, native originally signed with Atlanta as a teenager in 2009 and became an International League All-Star in 2018, when he ranked 4th in the league with 76 RBI. The previous season, he tied for the lead among all Braves farmhands with 21 home runs and ranked 2nd in RBI with 77, trailing only MLB All-Star Ronald Acuna, Jr. Franco enters the season a career .254 hitter with 111 home runs and 637 RBI.
The Revs will continue to unveil player signings on a weekly basis each Monday at 6 p.m. on Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK. The next airing is scheduled for Monday, February 14, and will also be available to stream at 989woyk.com and The New WOYK app.