One of the top hitters in York Revolution history will return to the team for the 2019 season.
Second baseman Alexi Casilla, a major league veteran, was among three player signings announced by York Revolution manager Mark Mason during Tuesday night's airing of "Revs Hot Stove Weekly Presented by Shipley Energy" on SportsRadio 1350 WOYK.
Mason also announced the signings of right-handed pitcher Troy Terzi and right-handed reliever Jose Ortega.
Alexi Casilla: Casilla enters his third season in York boasting the second-highest career batting average in team history at .344 in 170 games. The switch-hitter racked up a .358 average in 62 games in 2017, a mark that would have led the Atlantic League with enough plate appearances to qualify. He followed that by batting .336 in 108 games last season, ranking fourth in the league and finishing just two points shy of the top spot while placing fifth-highest in a season in franchise history.
Casilla also ranked third in the league with 142 total hits while adding 20 doubles, three triples, three homers and 16 stolen bases. The slick-fielding second baseman was selected to the Atlantic League’s Red, White and Blue All-Defensive Team after leading the circuit with a .983 fielding percentage, highest by a second baseman in Revs history.
“His impact is immeasurable,” Mason said in a news release. “He’s far and away the best two-hole hitter in the league, he’s great defensively and a wonderful veteran presence in the clubhouse. He’s one of the first guys at the ballpark every day. He brings that major league approach and mentality to the ballpark every day. He leads by example and does it the right way on and off the field.”
The 34-year-old enters his 16th pro season and brings nine years of big-league experience to York. Originally signed by the Los Angeles Angels in 2003, Casilla was traded to the Minnesota Twins in 2005. Casilla quickly rose through the Twins system, making his major league debut in 2006. He would go on to play more than 500 games for the Twins over the following six seasons, hitting an even .250 in his career with Minnesota.
His best season came in 2008, when he hit .281 with seven home runs and 50 RBIs and led the American League with 13 sacrifices bunts. Casilla also played for the Baltimore Orioles in 2013 and 2014 and is the all-time major league leader in stolen base percentage at 87.9.
Troy Terzi: Terzi returns for his second pro season after spending his rookie campaign in York.
The Keystone College alum debuted with three shutout innings vs. New Britain in his pro debut on Aug. 16 and was one out away from his first career victory before rain forced a postponement in what would have been his second official start.
Terzi, 24, eventually earned his first victory in his next trip to the hill on Aug. 26 vs. Southern Maryland, and went 1-0 with a 5.78 ERA in four starts, walking four and striking out 16 in 18 2/3 innings.
“For a young guy to come in to our league at the end of the year and face veteran hitters after having probably thrown his most innings in one season, including his time in college, and for him to be as effective as he was, I’m looking forward to seeing him from the beginning of the season when he’s fresh,” Mason said. “He’s excited for the opportunity."
Jose Ortega: Ortega returns to the Atlantic League after spending 2018 with the Atlantic League's Road Warriors, posting a 4.47 ERA with two saves in 47 relief outings after appearing in three games early in the season with the Sugar Land Skeeters.
Ortega has major league experience, having totaled 14 appearances with the Detroit Tigers from 2012-14. The 30-year-old owns a 3.86 ERA in 307 appearances over his minor league career, all but two of which have come in relief. That includes four seasons at Triple-A Toledo in the Tigers system.
Perhaps his best season came in 2013 when the Venezuela native went 4-3 with a 1.86 ERA and four saves for Toledo along with posting a 3.86 ERA in 11 outings at the big league level.
“He’s a really hard thrower, attacks the hitters really well,” Mason said. “I thought he had a very good year based on the travel and lifestyle that those guys led for five to six months. He was an eye-opener for me. He already has major league pedigree and has been around for a while with a lot of Triple-A time. ... I think he can be even better than he was last year.”
The Revs now have 12 players signed for the upcoming season and will continue to announce additional signings each week on “Revs Hot Stove Weekly Presented by Shipley Energy” on SportsRadio 1350 WOYK. The next episode airs on Tuesday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m.
Information for this story was provided by the York Revolution.