(April 27, 2021, York, Pa.) — Former No. 3 overall draft pick Josh Vitters and right-handed pitcher Alberto Rodriguez will finally call PeoplesBank Park home in the 2021 season – now just one month away – after being robbed of the chance when they signed with the York Revolution last year. The signings were announced by Revs manager Mark Mason on Monday’s Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK.
Vitters, 31, enters his 12th season of professional baseball. A first round pick in the 2007 MLB Draft, Vitters was selected 3rd overall by the Chicago Cubs out of Cypress (CA) High School, where he was an All-America selection, the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year in California, and a member of Team USA (16U) during his prep days. The right-hand hitting corner infielder had committed to Arizona State University but elected to sign professionally, spending six seasons in the Cubs minor league system before receiving the call up to the Majors in 2012 at 22 years old. Vitters played in 36 games for Chicago during the 2012 season, totaling 12 big league hits, including a pair of home runs while sharing time at Triple-A Iowa.
After eight years in the Cubs organization, Vitters’ first taste of the Atlantic League came in 2016 with the Bridgeport Bluefish, where he tallied 60 hits, five home runs, and 25 RBI across 80 games. Vitters also has experience playing in the American Association (2017 with Sioux City) and the Canadian-American Association (2018 with Quebec). The Anaheim, CA, native is a career .262 hitter with 867 hits, 298 extra base hits (97 home runs), and 347 RBI across 927 career games.
“He went through a lot of years where he just felt like there was something wrong with his swing,” commented Mason. “He ended up having to have a procedure done, and now he feels like he did way back when he was a first rounder and he’s excited for another opportunity to play. He’ll be on the radar of Major League scouts. He was set to come here last year, and we’re excited to give him the opportunity again.”
Rodriguez, 29, enters his fifth season of professional baseball in the United States. The right-hander is no stranger to the Atlantic League, having pitched for Sugar Land in part of 2017 and the Road Warriors in 2018. With the Skeeters, Rodriguez went 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in three starts. With the Road Warriors, he made nine more starts and posted two wins while striking out 41 in 47.1 innings.
Rodriguez was originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 18th round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of Northwest Florida State College. In two seasons in the Royals system, the Cuba native was 6-1 with a 4.93 ERA in 29 total appearances. He earned five wins and sported a 3.39 ERA in 21 outings (13 starts) in the American Association before advancing to the Atlantic League. As a pro, the 6-foot-1 righty is 17-19 with a 4.82 ERA in 77 games (36 starts), racking up 237 strikeouts in 274.1 innings.
“I always thought he threw the ball extremely well,” stated Mason. “He has good velocity and a good slider. He’s a workhorse. He’s started, pitched in long relief, pitched at the end of the game, so he comes in as a versatile pitcher and can give us different roles. We’ll plan on using him out of the bullpen initially. He’s excited to get here and we’re really happy to have him.”
The Revs will continue to unveil player signings for the upcoming 2021 season live on Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy each Monday at 6:30 p.m. on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK. The next episode will air on Monday, May 3, immediately following The Baltimore Baseball Show with Dan Connolly and can also be streamed on 989woyk.com and on the go with The New WOYK app.