(April 12) — The York Revolution have announced their final five signings of the preseason, revealing the additions just after the team’s first workout Tuesday. Returning infielders Josh Wilson and Joel Guzman, new outfielders Alonzo Harris and Derrick Robinson, and new relief pitcher Brad Allen were announced by manager Mark Mason Tuesday evening on “Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy” on SportsRadio 1350 WOYK.
Wilson returns to the Revs after being the team’s everyday shortstop a year ago. He batted .255 for the Revs last season with 8 home runs and 39 RBI and led the squad with 28 doubles. Wilson enters his 19th professional season and at age 36 is the eldest player on the Revs roster. Wilson was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the third round in 1999 and has spent parts of eight seasons in the Majors, debuting with the Marlins in 2005 and playing as recently as 2015 with the Detroit Tigers.
“We’re very fortunate to have Josh,” said Mason on WOYK. “He was one of the first guys that committed to coming back this season.”
Guzman brings a big bat back to the middle of the Revolution lineup. Last season, he led the team in home runs (16) and hits (140), was third on the team in runs (64), and posted 41 multi-hit games. He was also selected to play in the Atlantic League All-Star Game. The native of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, was originally signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2001 and reached the big leagues with the Dodgers in 2006 and again with Tampa Bay in 2007. In his 14-year minor league career, Guzman has collected over 1,200 hits and has driven in 750 runs.
“He told me he’s motivated to be a 100 RBI guy this year and hit .330,” said Mason. “One thing we know about ‘Guzy’ is when he puts his mind to it and he locks in he’s a pretty tough out.”
Harris was acquired just before camp from the St. Paul Saints of the American Association for a player to be named later. Last season with the Saints, he hit .307 to go along with 15 home runs and led the league with 43 stolen bases. He was also selected to the American Association All-Star Game. Harris enters his 10th professional season, originally drafted by the New York Mets in the 39th round in 2007.
“Alonzo has done some really good things in the American Association, and for whatever reason has not gotten signed out of there,” said Mason. “This is an opportunity for him to play up in talent, up a level in better competition, and show what he can do against former big leaguers and Triple-A guys.”
Robinson enters his 12th professional season and first with York. Drafted by the Royals in 2006, he climbed the Royals minor league ranks before joining the Reds in 2013, where he made the Major League roster out of spring training. He went on to play 102 games for the Reds that season, and his first of 49 hits on the campaign was a pinch-hit single off of Stephen Strasburg. He finished the season tied for first among the Reds in triples (3). Last season Robinson played for Sioux City of the American Association, where he hit .313 and stole 31 bases.
“We tried to go for a lot of speed, and Derrick is a switch hitter, so that helps us too,” said Mason. “This outfield is very fast, and this is probably the fastest outfield we’ve had since I’ve been here and maybe in the history of our team.”
After beginning his career in the Frontier League, Allen was picked up by the Diamondbacks at the end of the 2012 season. He has spent the majority of the last three years in the Blue Jays system, pitching for High-A Dunedin in 2016. Last season he made 33 appearances (9 starts) and picked up 5 wins and 75 strikeouts in 86.2 innings of work. He now enters his seventh pro season and first in the Atlantic League.
“From what I saw on video, his feathers were not ruffled in that big league game in spring training, and if you can do that against big league hitters, I think he can come here and do really well,” said Mason, referring Allen escaping a bases-loaded jam in a save for the Jays this spring.
The Revs will now move forward with 32 players in camp and signed for the upcoming season, including 18 pitchers and 14 position players. Fans can catch their first glimpse of the 2017 squad at Fan Fest beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, which includes an exhibition game against the Somerset Patriots at 2 p.m.