(February 15, 2022) — The York Revolution continued its strong preseason signing period by welcoming back another pair of award-winning fan favorites. All-Star outfielder Melky Mesa, affectionately known to the fan base as “Daddy Shark,” and 2021 Revs Pitcher of the Year Austin Nicely marked the latest two signings announced by Revs manager Mark Mason, live on Monday night’s episode of Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK.
Mesa has established himself as not only one of the on-field greats in Revs history, but also one of the most beloved figures to the Revolution fan base. The 2021 recipient of the organization’s “Corey Thurman Community Player of the Year” award, Mesa enters his fourth season in York ranking second in Revs history in career RBI (238). He also ranks fourth all-time in hits (376), runs (218), and home runs with 58, just one behind Chris Nowak’s 59 for third on the all-time list. Mesa is also top-five in extra-base hits (141) and slugging (.546), sixth in doubles (74), and seventh in career batting (.320). His .330 average last year made him the first in Revs history to post two seasons of .330 or better, along with his .337 mark in 2018.
“He’s so much fun to be around,” remarked Mason. “He always has a smile on his face. We’re really happy to have him back. In all the years I’ve been in York, he’s one of the top two defensive left fielders to play our Arch Nemesis, and of course he’s just a great all-around hitter. His numbers are phenomenal, also the clutch hitting. And as good as he is on the field, he’s just as great if not greater off the field. He’s a great clubhouse leader, a great captain, and we can basically call him that because everybody goes to him for a lot of things.”
The Atlantic League’s top RBI man since joining the circuit in 2018, Mesa is a two-time Atlantic League All-Star and was voted Team MVP in 2018. The 35-year-old reached the Major Leagues with the New York Yankees, appearing in a combined eight games in 2012 and 2013 (6-for-15, two doubles, two RBI), and has been a perennial All-Star in the minors, including a Florida State League MVP season in 2010. He is a .262 lifetime hitter with 183 home runs and 732 RBI across his pro career.
Nicely’s return marks the re-signing of the Revs’ staff ace, and the league’s top left-handed starter from last season. Along with the return of Mesa and Nellie Rodriguez (2021 Revs Player of the Year), all three major organizational award-winners are now under contract to return in 2022.
Nicely’s 3.74 ERA finished second in the league, while he totaled the second-most innings (career-high 142.0) and the sixth-most victories, finishing with a 9-9 record in his 24 appearances (23 starts). The 27-year-old was particularly stellar on a nine-start stretch from mid-August through October 1, during which he rolled out a 2.79 ERA. That span included a 4-0 record in the month of September as he took home Atlantic League Pitcher of the Month honors. Nicely enjoyed a total of five starts in which he held the opposing team without an earned run.
“He was one of the top two starting pitchers in the league last year,” commented Mason. “He was our solidifier in the starting rotation, pitched a lot of big games. He was a workhorse for us. We’re really happy to have him back.”
A Grottoes, VA native, Nicely signed with the Houston Astros as a 10th-round draft pick out of Spotswood (VA) High School in 2013 after previously committing to the University of Virginia. Nicely spent four seasons in the Astros system and initially joined the Revs for one start late in 2019 following the completion of a second campaign spent with Evansville of the Frontier League. Nicely is 30-34 with a 4.48 ERA in his seven-year pro career.
The Revs now have four players under contract for the upcoming season, all of whom have starred in York in recent seasons with Mesa and Nicely joining power-hitting infielders Rodriguez and Carlos Franco, whose respective returns were announced the previous week. The club will continue to unveil its latest signings each Monday at 6 p.m. on Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy, with the next episode set to air on Monday, February 21, on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK, also streaming on 989woyk.com and The New WOYK app.