Chris Nowak signs with Arizona Diamondbacks
After each majestic, soaring home run Chris Nowak hit at Sovereign Bank Stadium the last two seasons, the familiar refrain of “what is this guy still doing here” would murmur throughout the ballpark. Finally, the Arizona Diamondbacks have discovered what most Revolution fans have known for a while: Chris Nowak can hit, and hit it far.
The Revolution all-time home run king has inked a deal to go to spring training with the D-Backs. It’s once again the classic Catch-22 for Yorkers; while we’d love him back in a Revs uniform, Nowak now has another chance to break through and make his Major League debut.
Nowak finished the 2012 season with 34 homers, destroying his own previous franchise record of 25 in 2011, which eclipsed Jason Aspito’s 24 in 2008. It was the first 30-home run season in the Atlantic League since Jesse Hoorelbeke hit 33 for Bridgeport in 2007. Nowak’s career Revolution total of 59 home runs gives him a 17-homer lead over Aspito for the all-time franchise lead. Nowak also knocked in 107 runs in 2012, which surpassed Aspito’s previous franchise best of 105 in 2008. Nowak’s homer and RBI total were the most for each category in the league since 2005.
Despite those gaudy numbers, Nowak was NOT chosen as the Atlantic League’s Player of The Year. But that is a debate for another day. Today is a day to congratulate him.
(To be fair, plenty of people around baseball have taken notice of the damage Nowak has done with the Revolution. In December, FanGraphs.com named Nowak the best hitter not with an MLB organization.)
ALSO IN ARIZONA: The Diamondbacks are also bringing back former Revolution reliever Mike DeMark to spring training, who spent all of last season pitching for the Diamondbacks Triple-A team in Reno. He joined the D-Backs in June of 2011, when they purchased his contract after he made 13 appearances for the Revolution. He would go on to make 32 appearances at Double-A Mobile, sporting a 1.85 ERA in 34 innings, and a sparkling 48/9 strikeout to walk ratio with 15 saves. He finished that season making two appearances for Reno, before pitching in 53 Triple-A games in 2012, helping the Aces to the Pacific Coast League Championship. He was also the winning pitcher in the “Triple-A National Championship Game” against the Pawtucket Red Sox, champions of the International League.
Last season, it looked like DeMark had a shot to be a September call-up to the big leagues, as he’s still striving to make his MLB debut. Hopefully this is the season the Diamondbacks give him that much deserved promotion.