Johan Limonta released by Revolution
The York Revolution has announced the release of outfielder/first baseman Johan Limonta, who played in parts of four seasons with the Revs. He was batting just .209 in 43 games this season for York, with four home runs and 11 RBI.
Unfortunately, it’s the second time this season one of the most accomplished and popular players in Revolution history was released. It’s yet another demonstration however that Manager Mark Mason is serious about re-tooling his roster to make a run at a second half division title, as one of the worst halves in Revolution history comes to a close. The clubhouse is certainly getting younger as some respected veterans have been involved in some tough decisions of late. As was the case with Corey Thurman’s release, it’s strictly based on numbers, as like Thurman, Limonta was certainly beloved by fans and respected greatly by his teammates.
It’s surprising when you look back on it, but Limonta never played a full season with York, despite donning a Revs uniform in every season since 2012. He joined the Revolution for the final 39 games and playoffs that season after beginning the year at Triple-A Tacoma in the Mariners system and after a stint with Mexico City in the Mexican League. In 2013 Limonta began the season in York, staying just 16 games before his contract was purchased by the Padres, where he finished the season playing in 73 games for Double-A San Antonio. Coincidentally, Limonta hit the first Revolution home run in 2013, and the last homer of San Antonio’s season, a grand slam which wound up as the winning hit in Game 5 of the Texas League Championship Series, delivering San Antonio the title.
In 2014 Limonta spent the entire first half of the season with the Revs, despite fielding offers early on to make a better salary for several Mexican League teams. Limonta put those offers on hold, vowing to stay in York to help the Revolution secure a first half division title and a playoff berth, and they did, in large part to him. Limonta made that sacrifice, and did not depart to Campeche in the Mexican League until York had clinched the Freedom Division first half title with a win in Lancaster, and completed a 41-29 half. Upon his departure to Mexico, Limonta vowed to return to York for the tail end of the regular season and playoffs and he kept his word again, collecting the game-winning hit in Game 3 of the Freedom Division Championship Series against Sugar Land in extra innings:
2014 was Limonta’s best showing with York, batting .302 with seven home runs and 58 RBI in 88 total regular season games with York. He departs a .275 hitter in 186 games as a Rev, with 14 homers and 96 RBI. For his career, Limonta, 31, is an impressive .293 hitter in 10 professional seasons. It has always been puzzling how his 2011 season at Tacoma didn’t result in a Major League call-up to the Mariners; when he hit .319 with 14 homers and 84 RBI in 108 games, mirroring the season he had at Double-A in 2010 (132 games/.302/14 HR/83 RBI).
Limonta, who defected from Cuba at age 21 in October 2004 with five other players including current Washington Nationals infielder and nine-year MLB veteran Yunel Escobar, was drafted by Seattle in 2006 after establishing residency in Miami, where he currently resides. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen during the 2012 season. In Cuba he played for the Industriales, located in his hometown of Havana, the most accomplished team in that country’s most prestigious league, Serie Nacional. The Industriales are often referred to as the Yankees of Cuba, not only for their multiple championships, but for also having the ability to ensure big crowds on the road while also being hated outside their city.
Hopefully this didn’t read like an obituary, because we wish Limonta the best of luck in whatever he does next. He’ll be missed greatly in York for sure.