The York Revolution has announced that the Atlantic League contract of outfielder Jose Constanza has been purchased by the Tampa Bay Rays. It marks the first time in the nine-year history of the Revolution that Tampa Bay has purchased the contract of a York player in-season.
As the Atlantic League continues to affirm itself in the highest levels of professional baseball with “Major League Ready” players, Constanza will be added to Tampa Bay’s 40-man Major League roster shortly, of which all players are eligible to play in the Major Leagues as of September 1 for the remainder of the regular season, per MLB rules. After a short stint with the Triple-A Durham Bulls, whose season ends on September 7, it is likely Constanza will be promoted to the Rays to finish out the year in the Majors. Doing so will make him the ninth former Revolution player to reach Major League Baseball.
Constanza will also become the first player to play in the Rays organization following a stint in York. To date, in nine seasons the Revolution has placed a former player with 26 of the 30 MLB clubs with the addition of Tampa Bay (including in-season and off-season signings), leaving the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, and New York Yankees as the only remaining organizations that have not employed a former York player.
When the Revolution avoided a three-game sweep and salvaged their final home series of the month with a 3-2 win in 14 innings over the Somerset Patriots on August 23, a list of fun milestones were reached:
- The RBI base hit from James Simmons which tied the game, and the RBI base hit from Jose Constanza which won it in the 14th after trailing 2-1 (watch the video above), gave the Revolution their ninth walk-off victory of 2015. That is a new franchise high for a single-season, surpassing the total of eight by the 2009 Revs. Like 2009, where York compiled a franchise-worst overall record of 53-87, the numerous walk-off wins this season have also been a silver lining in an otherwise challenging season. The Revolution was 47-65 (but 23-19 in the second half) as of August 23, and just 22-34 at home. However, an eye-popping 41% of their home wins this season as of 8/23 have come in walk-off fashion. As of 8/23, the Revs are 12-3 in one-run games decided at home this year.
- Over the weekend, the Revolution drew 15,828 fans to Santander Stadium, a season-high for a three-game series. (6,268 Friday, 5,781 Saturday, 3,779 Sunday.) That is over 2,000 fans better than the previous high for a three-gamer this season. The weekend also came within 800 fans of the best-ever attendance for a three-game home series, when 16,643 fans were turnstiled from September 16-18, 2011 against Southern Maryland.
The Revolution’s 5-4 victory in 11 innings at Southern Maryland on August 18 established a new single-season high for extra-inning games played in a season for the nine-year-old franchise. It was York’s 12th of the 2015 season, and Wilson Valdez’s squeeze bunt to put the Revs ahead for good improved their record to 6-6 in extras this season. Six victories in extras is also a franchise record for a single-season.
It was the second time this season the Revs brought in the winning run in a game at Southern Maryland on a squeeze bunt, as Eric Patterson did it in the ninth inning of a 4-3 victory on July 28.
After admirable work by the Revolution bullpen, twice going through a starting rotation with four pitchers following the departure of Shawn Hill, York has added right-handed starter Hunter Adkins to make the rotation whole again.
Adkins, 24, joins the Revs after a solid season with the Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier League, in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. In 15 starts for Lake Erie this year, Adkins posted a 2.70 ERA and good strikeout numbers, punching out 94 batters in 96.2 IP. He walked only 32 and gave up just 74 hits in that time.
Andres Perez takes over Revolution all-time RBI lead, moves into second on home run list in one swing
On August 14 at Bridgeport, Andres Perez’s assault on the York Revolution record book reached a new level, when he became the all-time franchise leader in RBI and moved into second on the franchise home run list with one swing. Perez, who surpassed James Shanks as the all-time Revolution hits leader earlier this season, surpassed Ramon Castro’s mark of 214 RBI with a three-run homer at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard in the fourth inning off Bluefish right-hander Cody Scarpetta.
Perez, who went 3-for-6 with a double and the homer in a 13-5 York win, drove in six runs to move from tied for fifth on the 2015 Atlantic League RBI leaderboard, to leading the league in RBI with 61. His three-run homer in the fourth, to put York on top 7-3, gave him 215 career RBI with the Revolution. His 218 RBI with York by game’s end gave him a four-RBI lead over Castro as the franchise record-holder.
With the 2016 season marking the 10th anniversary of York Revolution Baseball, the organization is turning things over to the fans to help decide the official 10th Anniversary Team. The official ballot has been posted below and on the official website, and fans will vote individually for each position on the field, a designated hitter, a five-man starting rotation, and relief pitchers. Fans may vote as many times as they would like for each position.
The highest vote-getting position players who are not voted as starters at their respective positions will be final additions to the 10th Anniversary Team, and out of 71 initial nominees, 25 players total will be honored. The criteria for being nominated varied: Career numbers with York, tremendous single-season performances and players who played for the Revolution briefly and then reached the Major Leagues were all taken into consideration. On Opening Day 2016 (date TBA), several former Revs will be back at Santander Stadium for a reunion, including as many players as possible that were selected to the 10th Anniversary roster and starting lineup. (Several of the nominated players are still working in the game in a coaching or scouting capacity.)
Fans may vote as many times as they would like for their favorite players in Revolution history, from now until February when the final results are tallied and the Revolution 10th Anniversary Team is announced prior to the season. Several positions will be highly competitive and the voting should be very close and fun to watch. Among the most intriguing is first base (Chris Ashby ’08, Ian Bladergroen ’10, Chris Nowak ’11-‘12 and Chad Tracy ’13-‘14). Good luck coming to a decision about the best in franchise history out of that group! But that’s why the selection of the team will be such a fun process. Regular updates on vote totals will be provided as things move forward.
Please vote by position using the individual links after the jump:
After 40 games with the Revolution this season, outfielder Shannon Wilkerson’s contract was purchased by the Minnesota Twins on July 9; the first time the Twins had ever purchased an active player off York’s roster, and the first time Minnesota had ever signed a former Rev, period.
Once he reported to Double-A Chattanooga, Wilkerson got off to a blistering start, not dissimilar to his torrid start with the Revolution. In 18 games between July 10 and August 2, Wilkerson hit his way to a high-water mark of .324. In 27 games total with Chattanooga as of August 12, Wilkerson was getting on base at a .333 clip, and had driven in eight runs with 10 walks and four doubles as Chattanooga’s leadoff man.
Already having taken over the top spot on the Revolution all-time hits list July 19, and the all-time total bases tally a day later, Andres Perez truly kicked his summer into high-gear August 5-8 in a four-game home sweep of Southern Maryland.
The sweep saw York pound out a season-high 18 hits twice, (11-18-17-18), outscoring SOMD 39-13 while piling up 64 hits (seven homers). The sweep also extended York’s home winning streak to nine consecutive games, the second longest in franchise history. The only 10-game Revolution home win streak to date came between August 19 and September 1 in the 2011 championship season.
The 39 runs in a four-game series is the third-highest total for the Revs in such a series in their history, and the most since 2010 when they scored 42 runs in four games at home against Camden in July, and 52 in four against Lancaster later that season in September.
As impressive as the team accolades were however, the straw that stirred the drink to get the York offense going was Perez, who began the Southern Maryland series 7 for his first 8 and 10 for his first 12 at the plate. He doubled in all four games and drove in at least one run in all four:
Revolution starting pitcher Shawn Hill has departed but is still planning to play somewhere. The news came down the day after his final start for York, a 6-5 loss at Camden on August 1. Hill helped the Canadian Senior National Team to their second gold medal in as many Pan-Am Games with a six-inning shutout of Cuba last month, and pauses his season despite winning two of his three starts for the Revs after re-joining the club from Team Canada. Hill allowed just an earned run in each, a five-inning performance in a 5-1 win at Long Island on July 21, and a six-inning effort in a 5-3 home win against Camden on July 26. Hill turned 34 in April, and said he does not plan to retire yet.
Although Hill departs York for the second time in his career having appeared in just 24 total games for the Revolution (22 starts), he’s made his mark as one of the more important players in Revs history: