The results are in…
The York Revolution made their first moves toward constructing the 2018 roster, selecting four former members of the Bridgeport Bluefish in the Atlantic League’s player dispersal draft on Wednesday morning. While none of the three players will officially become members of the 2018 Revs until signing a contract once the signing period opens in the new year, the Revs do hold their Atlantic League rights and will have exclusive negotiating rights with those players through the off-season.
The Revs held the fourth selection based on overall win-loss record from the 2017 regular season, and with their first selection, chose infielder Jose Cuevas. The 29-year-old played for Bridgeport the past two seasons, mostly as a corner infielder and one of the league’s better defensive third basemen, but has seen time at every infield position throughout his career. Cuevas overcame a bit of a slow start early in the year to finish with a solid .279 average and seven home runs. That followed an All-Star season in 2016 during which he batted .286 with 10 home runs. Cuevas previously played in the San Francisco Giants organization where he was the Arizona League MVP early in his career, and the Can-Am League prior to coming to the Atlantic League. Should the Revs officially sign Cuevas this off-season, he projects as an impact everyday player in the Revolution 2018 lineup.
From there, the Revs focused on pitching with their second, third, and fourth-round selections.
The team selected promising young right-hander Dominic Severino in the second round. The 23-year-old dazzled in three starts late in the season after joining the Bluefish from the Empire League, going 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA (14.2 IP, 14 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 19 K). The Revs ran up against Severino in his Atlantic League debut on September 3, and were shut down by the righty who held York’s potent offense to three hits over four shutout innings, striking out seven.
York took Atlantic League veteran reliever Frank DeJiulio, Jr. in the third round. DeJiulio has pitched in the Atlantic League over the last three seasons as a setup man, and last year was used in a longer role at times, more so than he had been in the past. DeJiulio went 3-1 with a 2.87 ERA for Long Island in 2015, combined to go 4-0 with a 1.44 ERA between Long Island and Bridgeport in 2016, and was 4-5 with a 3.93 ERA in 59 games for Bridgeport last season. The 28-year-old Fort Lauderdale native began his pro career in the Angels farm system.
Often times on radio last season, I joked that it wouldn’t be a York vs. Bridgeport game if we didn’t see right-hander Zac Grotz come into the game for the Bluefish. Now, he has an opportunity to join the Revs as their fourth-round selection from today’s draft. Grotz faced the Revs 12 times in 22 meetings between York and Bridgeport last season, going 2-1 with a 3.21 ERA in those meetings against his (potentially) future team, as the Revs batted just .189 against him. Grotz’ 12 appearances tied New Britain’s Nate Roe for the most by a Revs opponent last season. In fact, DeJiulio faced the Revs 11 times, the second-most by any opposing pitcher. Based on what we saw, it’s not surprising that Grotz tied for the league-lead overall last season with 67 appearances, going 4-3 with a 3.77 ERA, two saves, and 80 strikeouts in 74.0 innings during his first Atlantic League season. The 24-year-old dominated with Washington of the Frontier League the year before, and previously spent time in the Astros and Dodgers farm systems – two clubs that will play a relatively big game against one another tonight.
While these aren’t yet official signings, this does wet the appetite a bit for 2018.
Of note, New Britain selected MLB veteran shortstop Luis Hernandez with the first pick. Sugar Land took outfielder and league batting champion D’Arby Myers second, and Southern Maryland claimed catcher Jose Gil third. New Britain made four additional selections after the four rounds for a total of eight players selected, while Long Island took a total of six. You can view the entire listing of selections by clicking here.