(February 22, 2021) — The York Revolution have announced their first pair of player signings for the 2021 season, as right-handed pitcher Duke von Schamann and first baseman Nellie Rodriguez will return to York. The signings were announced by Revs manager Mark Mason live on Monday’s Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK.
Von Schamann, 29, arrived in May 2019 via a trade from Gary SouthShore (American Association). In his very first start with York on May 26 vs. Lancaster, the righty took a one-hit shutout into the fourth. The debut was just the start of increasingly impressive performances from von Schamann on the mound. The starter set a new club record with a 42.0 inning walkless streak, not allowing a base on balls in six straight starts from Aug. 16 to Sep. 11. The Tulsa, OK, native threw two complete games with York (July 31 at Somerset and Aug. 21 vs. Southern Maryland), with his second being a three-hit shutout of the Blue Crabs, facing just two batters over the minimum. von Schamann was one of two 10-win pitchers for the 2019 Revs and held a 3.51 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 128.1 innings. The 6-foot-5 pitcher walked just 16 batters in 22 starts.
“The one thing you know about Duke is he’s going to throw strikes,” commented Mason. “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 toeing the rubber at PeoplesBank Park, 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 to just 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.
Rodriguez, 26, had signed with York during the 2020 preseason and spent 2019 in the Cleveland organization with Double-A Akron. The right-handed power hitter earned 55 hits and 13 doubles, belted 12 home runs, and drove in 42 runs that year. A New York, NY, 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 (NY), the alma mater of former MLB great Manny Ramirez. Rodriguez also spent his youth on the 16U and 18U USA Baseball teams.
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 Post-Season All-Star and Carolina League MVP after ripping 109 hits, 51 extra-base hits (17 home runs), and 84 RBI. Rodriguez came within two RBI of 100 total that season, including his time spent at Double-A Akron.
“Nellie brings a lot of power,” said Mason. “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 RBI 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 professional baseball reaching Double-A with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Revs will unveil more signings each week on Revs Hot Stove Weekly presented by Shipley Energy on SportsRadio 98.9 FM and 1350 WOYK. The next airing will be on Monday, March 1, at 6 p.m., and available online at 989woyk.com and on The New WOYK app.