York Revolution's first two player signings of 2021 are announced

Duke von Schamann

The signings have started.

The York Revolution announced the first 2021 player signings on Monday night.

Right-handed pitcher Duke von Schamann and first baseman Nellie Rodriguez will return to York. The signings were announced by York manager Mark Mason on Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK.

The Revs are scheduled to start their 2021 Atlantic League season in late May.

Von Schamann, 29, arrived in May 2019 via a trade from Gary SouthShore of the American Association. The right-hander was one of two 10-win pitchers for the 2019 Revs and had a 3.51 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 128.1 innings. The 6-foot-5 pitcher walked 16 batters in 22 starts.

“The one thing you know about Duke is he’s going to throw strikes,” Mason said in a news release. “I thought he got better as the year went on in 2019, and we’ve had some conversations this off-season about what he’s working on for this year. We’re really excited to get him back. He’ll throw it over the plate, keep us in the game, and eat up some innings for us. That’s a really good signing right out of the gate for us.”

Before his York stint, von Schamann played for Joliet of the Frontier League, where in two seasons he combined for a 9-9 record with a 3.38 ERA. In 165.1 innings of work, he accumulated 117 strikeouts and 29 walks.

A 15th-round selection by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2012 MLB Draft, von Schamann pitched for two seasons in the Dodgers system before being traded to Cleveland in 2014. Reaching as high as Triple-A Columbus, von Schamann was 28-22 with a 4.35 ERA across his time with L.A. and Cleveland. Von Schamann played college baseball at Texas Tech University and is the son of former Miami Dolphins kicker Uwe von Schamann.

Nellie Rodriguez: Rodriguez, 26, had signed with York during the 2020 preseason but never got to play with the Revs because the 2020 season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He spent 2019 in the Cleveland organization with Double-A Akron. The right-handed hitter had 55 hits and 13 doubles, belting 12 home runs and driving in 42 runs that year. A New York native, Rodriguez has spent his entire pro career with the Indians after being a 15th-round pick in 2012 out of George Washington High School in New York, the alma mater of former major league great Manny Ramirez.

The 6-foot-2 first baseman started his first pro season with the AZL Indians in 2012 and reached Triple-A Columbus by 2017. The righty bat was an organization All-Star for Cleveland in 2015 and 2016. Spending a large portion of 2015 with the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats, Rodriguez was named a Postseason All-Star and Carolina League MVP after ripping 109 hits, 51 extra-base hits (17 home runs), and 84 RBIs. Rodriguez came within two RBIs of 100 total that season, including his time spent at Double-A Akron.

“Nellie brings a lot of power,” Mason said in the news release. “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.”

In his eight-year career, Rodriguez is a .234 hitter with 702 hits, 307 extra-base hits (127 home runs), and 491 RBIs in 852 games. Those totals are highlighted by 27 home runs at the Triple-A level, including 17 with Columbus in 2017, and 47 long balls at the Double-A level, including a career-high 26 with Akron in 2016.

Rodriguez’s father, Nelson, also played pro baseball, reaching Double-A with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Revs will unveil more signings each week on Revs Hot Stove Weekly. The next airing will be 6 p.m. Monday, March 1.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com. Information for this story was provided by the York Revolution.