Former George Washington High School (NY) standout Nellie Rodriguez has signed a contract to return to the York Revolution of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB), Rev’s manager Mark Mason Monday announced live on Revs’ Hot Stove Weekly on SportsRadio 98.9 FM and 1350 WOYK.
Rodriguez, an ex-catcher in high school and on Team USA’s 16U and 18U squads, inked a deal with York in the 2019 pre-season but did not get an opportunity to play with the club due to COVID-19.
After the Cleveland Indians drafted Rodriguez in the 15th round of the 2012 MLB First-Year Draft, the 6-foot-2 first baseman started his first pro season with the Arizona League (AZL) Indians and worked his way up to Triple-A Columbus by 2017.
In between, Cleveland named the New York, NY, native as an Organization All-Star in 2015 and 2016.
Spending a good deal of 2015 with the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats, the Carolina League named Rodriguez, 26, as an All-Star and MVP after lacing 109 hits, 51 extra-base hits (17 of which were home runs), and 84 RBI.
Mason sang the praise of his power-hitting infielder, saying he will fit in nicely in the center of their batting order, not to mention his fielding prowess. Plus, given his youth, he said Rodriguez still has time to impress MLB scouts.
“Nellie brings a lot of power,” Mason said. “He’ll boost our lineup in the middle. He’s hit for power everywhere he’s been. He’s also a good first baseman. He’s still pretty young, so there’s a big upside for him to showcase what he can do for all 30 Major League clubs.”
Over his eight-year career, Rodriguez is a .234 hitter with 702 hits, 307 extra-base hits, 127 of which were home runs, and 491 RBI in 852 contests.
Rodriguez’s father, Nelson, also played professional baseball, reaching Double-A with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
George Washington is the same high school that former MLB greats Manny Ramirez and Rod Carew attended.
The Revolution also signed right-handed pitcher Duke von Schamann.
— Jerry Del Priore