A player who was once considered one of Major League Baseball's top prospects has signed with the York Revolution.
Infielder Josh Vitters has agreed to a deal with the Revs for the 2020 season. In 2007, Vitters was the No. 3 overall pick in the MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs.
Vitters' deal was one of three player signings announced by York manager Mark Mason on Monday’s Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 AM WOYK.
York also announced contracts with right-handed reliever Hector Nelo and outfielder Frankie Jezioro.
Vitters reportedly feels "incredible": Vitters, 30, enters his 12th season of pro baseball. Thirteen years ago, he was a first-round pick out of Cypress (California) High School, where he was an All-America selection, the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year in California and a 16-and-under Team USA member during his prep days.
He spent six seasons in the Cubs' minor league system before receiving the call-up to the majors in 2012. 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.
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After eight years in the Cubs' organization, Vitters’ first taste of the Atlantic League came in 2016 when he signed with the Bridgeport Bluefish. With the Bluefish, the 6-foot-2 infielder batted .226 with 60 hits, five homers and 25 RBIs 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, California, native is a career .262 hitter with 867 hits, 298 extra base hits, 97 homers and 347 RBIs across 927 career games.
“I remember Josh when he played against us, and he’s a big-league hitter,” Mason said in a news release issued by the Revs. “He’s healthy now and says he feels incredible, and I know in our ballpark the way he swings the bat, he can do a lot of damage here. We were excited to get him, and he’s really amped up and ready to play.”
Nelo excelled in Harrisburg: Nelo, 33, joins the Revolution after spending time in the Puerto Rican Winter League this offseason. Playing for Gigantes de Carolina, Nelo had a 3.38 ERA with 10 strikeouts in 14 games. The 12-year pro was originally a 15th-round pick by the Texas Rangers in the 2007 MLB draft. Nelo spent four seasons in the Rangers' system, reaching High-A Bakersfield.
The right-handed reliever went on to reach Double-A Harrisburg with the Washington Nationals, where he was named an Eastern League Midseason All-Star in 2012, earning the honor with 16 saves, a 2.73 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 47 games. Following his excellent season in Harrisburg, the Los Angeles Dodgers selected Nelo in the Rule 5 draft the following season. He then toiled in both the Dodgers and Reds organizations.
Nelo first appeared in the Atlantic League with Southern Maryland, making two appearances late in the 2014 season. The 6-1 righty spent the next three years in the Canadian-American Association, where he posted ERAs of 2.00 and 2.45 in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
In his career, Nelo is 19-30 with a 4.16 ERA with 483 strikeouts in 504 2/3 innings. Originally from Maracay, Venezuela, Nelo attended both high school (Coral Park) and college (St. Thomas University) in Miami before being drafted.
“I was happy with all the things I had heard, and then I was able to watch some video of him,” Mason said in the news release. “He’s got a really good fastball, lots of velocity.”
Jezioro shined for Slippery Rock: Jezioro enters his first pro baseball season.
The switch hitter finished a stellar collegiate career for Slippery Rock University in 2019. In his senior season, Jezioro started and played in all 43 games as the Rock’s starting center fielder. He earned All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West honors with a .355 average, eight homers and 24 RBIs. The 5-11 outfielder led SRU in hits, doubles, stolen bases and walks. At Slippery Rock, Jezioro is eighth all-time in stolen bases (46), 10th in homers (19) and 10th in games started (169).
“He was at a lot of camps this offseason and was the fastest player at the camps,” Mason said in the news release. “He’s a switch-hitter with power, hard-nosed type of guy. There were a lot of glowing reports, and we’re looking forward to giving him an opportunity to see what he can do here.”
The Revs will unveil more signings each week on Revs Hot Stove Weekly. The next airing will be 6 p.m. Monday, March 16.
Reach Steve Heiser at firstname.lastname@example.org. The York Revolution provided information for this report.