One of Atlantic League's most feared hitters will return to York Revolution in 2021
"Daddy Shark" is back for another season with the York Revolution.
Outfielder Melky Mesa, one of the top players in Revs history, has agreed to another deal with team.
Mesa's signing was announced Tuesday evening by Revs manager Mark Mason on Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 AM WOYK.
Mason also announced an agreement with a potential starting pitcher, left-hander Austin Nicely.
Both players had agreed to deals with York in 2020, before the Atlantic League season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nicknamed “Daddy Shark” by Revs fans for his iconic walk-up music, Mesa earned an Atlantic League Postseason All-Star Team selection for the second time in as many years after ending the 2019 season ranked fifth in the league in batting average (.298) and fourth in slugging percentage (.500). The outfielder became just the second player in franchise history to author a pair of 20-homer seasons, joining Chris Nowak (2011-12). In addition, Mesa finished in the top 10 in the league in total hits (137), tied for fifth in extra-base hits (49) and drove in 70 runs during his second season in York.
The year before, Mesa was named Revs’ Player of the Year after batting .337 (tied for fourth in Revs history), smashing 20 home runs and collecting 89 RBIs (seventh in club history). His slugging percentage of .577 was the second highest in single-season franchise history at the time (now third). Mesa was selected to represent the Revolution in the Atlantic League All-Star Game in both of his first two years with the team.
Mesa, 33, is entering his 16th season in pro baseball. Heading into his third season in York, he is among career franchise leaders in several categories, ranking tied for ninth all-time in batting average (.316), tied for eighth in home runs (40), tied for ninth in triples (eight), 10th in RBIs (159) and fourth in slugging percentage (.535).
“He’s such a great guy and great teammate,” Mason said in a news release. “He’s also extremely talented and one of the most feared hitters in our league. He’s a really great guy to have back and a very steady bat in the middle of our order.”
Mesa originally signed with the New York Yankees in 2003 and ascended through the Yankees farm system. Mesa appeared in three games for the Yankees in 2012 and five more in 2013, combining to go 6-for-15 with a pair of doubles.
Mesa has spent parts of five seasons at the Triple-A level in the Yankees, Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays organizations. Over his minor league career, he has totaled 159 home runs, 599 RBIs and 133 stolen bases.
Nicely back with Revs: Nicely, 26, returns to the Revs after joining York in September 2019.
Along with that of teammate Jake Welch, Nicely’s contract was acquired in a trade with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League. The lefty made one start for York, striking out three batters in four innings and earning a no decision on Sept. 13, 2019, at Lancaster.
“He’s competing for a starting rotation spot,” Mason said. “We only got to see one start back in 2019, but there’s an opportunity for him to come back in and make an impact for us.”
In two seasons with Evansville, Nicely was 14-12 with a 4.28 ERA in 26 starts, racking up 151 strikeouts in 206.1 innings. The Grottoes, Virginia, native spent four years in the Houston Astros system after being selected in the 10th round of the 2013 MLB Draft. Reaching as high as Class-A Quad Cities, Nicely is 21-25 with a 4.79 ERA in 77 games, including 60 starts, over his pro career.
The Revs will unveil more signings each week on Revs Hot Stove Weekly. The next airing will be 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 29, immediately following the season premier of The Baltimore Baseball Show with Dan Connolly.
The Revs' open Atlantic League regular-season play on Friday, May 28.
Reach Steve Heiser at firstname.lastname@example.org. The York Revolution contributed information for this story.