The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hardly packed it in early for the holiday, working right up until Thursday when they signed Revolution left-handed reliever Edward Paredes to a minor league contract.
This is a great development for Paredes’ career, as despite entering his ninth professional season, he’s only 29. Paredes spent almost three full seasons with the Revolution, and grew into one of the better middle-relief southpaws in the Atlantic League. In 131 career games with York (141 innings), his ERA is exactly 3.00, with a nearly 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio. The Villa Arriva, Dominican Republic native averaged better than a strikeout per inning with the Revs, fanning 152 during his time in the White Rose City. Paredes struck out a remarkable 73 batters in just 57 innings in 2015.
For many players, baseball is a year-round vocation. That’s certainly true for several players with ties to the Revolution and other Atlantic League clubs. If you want to check out stats and other familiar names you can spot on rosters, the main page for MLB-sanctioned winter leagues is here.
Winter ball teams are a diverse collection of players of different achievement level and most notably age; it’s a melting pot of career minor leaguers, established Major Leaguers and some of the game’s brightest young stars. For example, Minnesota Twins super-prospect Miguel Sano plays for Estrellas de Oriente in the Dominican Republic, while Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, who beat out Sano for the American League Rookie of the Year award, plays in his native Puerto Rico for Indios de Mayaguez.
On the other side of that coin, ageless wonders Brad Penny (Navegantes del Magallanes, 14 MLB seasons) and Freddy Garcia (Tigres de Aragua, 15 MLB seasons) are each still pitching in Venezuela during the off-season. There are countless more examples of each extreme, so happy browsing. Here is the list of Revolution players (mostly pitchers) soaking up the sun this fall and winter:
Major League Baseball grants free agency to all players with expiring contracts five days after the conclusion of the World Series, granted that player hasn’t re-signed with their organization. In the case of players who had their contracts purchased from an Atlantic League team, their release is automatic following the World Series. That’s just a point of procedure, and not necessarily a comment on how that player performed. Five former Revolution players, and several other Atlantic League alums are now in one of those two categories:
OF Shannon Wilkerson (’15, Twins): Upon joining Double-A Chattanooga from York on July 9, Wilkerson made an immediate impact with his new club with a hot start, not unlike his first days with the Revolution in late May. He ended up being a fixture in Chattanooga’s lineup as leadoff hitter, and helped them to the Southern League Championship. Wilkerson’s .292/1 HR/22 RBI showing in 49 games with Chattanooga in his age 26 season should go a long way in Minnesota’s considerations to re-sign him. If not, it won’t be long before he finds work elsewhere. If he were available to the Revolution either before or following spring training, he almost certainly would be signed by Manager Mark Mason.
We have a name and logo for the newest Atlantic League franchise is New Britain, Connecticut. The “Bees” will host the Revolution on Opening Day 2016, April 21 at New Britain Stadium.
In addition to playing in the team’s inaugural series (four games), it won’t take long for the Revs and Bees to get acquainted, as York hosts New Britain to begin their second homestand of the season, May 10-15. Those six games feature three against the Bees and the Sugar Land Skeeters, so bring your “fly” swatters but keep the infestation jokes to a minimum.
Tim Hagerty, who is the broadcaster for Triple-A El Paso (Padres), penned a great piece for Sporting News on career minor league pitcher Bill Sisler, who managed to play for 50 minor league teams over a quarter-century. Sisler’s story truly is remarkable, so please click and read for the details on how he was able to remain in professional baseball for so long. Sisler holds the record for most professional teams played for.
Perusing his page on BaseballReference.com, one thing jumped out, hence this post. One of Sisler’s 50 clubs was the 1933 York White Roses of the New York-Penn League, who were affiliated with the Brooklyn Dodgers. At age 32, Sisler played for two Pennsylvania clubs that season, Johnstown of the Middle Atlantic League being the other. While records are spotty, we know Sisler posted a 1-3 record in five appearances and 27 innings for York in 1933.