It’s a debate every offseason: Should an Atlantic League club bring back core players or should it find new and younger talent?
The Revolution appear to have some of their best players from 2008 ready to return in 2009. Former Blue Jays pitcher Corey Thurman (pictured above) and Revolution MVP Jason Aspito spent considerable time in York this offseason. Thurman lived in York, and Aspito split his time between York and Illinois. After appearing at a gathering announcing Revolution news Thursday, it appears Aspito and Thurman are content to return to the Revs.
Aspito thought he might be considered for Italy’s World Baseball Classic team, because representatives for the team contacted him in 2007. Italy selected a number of U.S.-born players to its 45-man provisional roster, but Aspito didn’t earn a nod.
No major league organizations have contacted him either.
In that sense it has been an odd offseason for Aspito. Although he won’t say so, the power-hitting outfielder has been overlooked after batting .294 with 24 homers and 105 RBIs. He should have a job in affiliated baseball.
“It’s something Corey and I were talking about,” Aspito said. “It’s just the way baseball is going. They want younger players. When we were coming up, we only advanced so far because the veteran guys above us had earned their stripes. You could have a good year and still go back to the same team.”
Now the business has been turned upside-down. The stockpile of veterans in the minors has been replaced with up-and-coming prospects. The younger players might not be as polished or as ready to lead a team, but they are younger and — in most instances — cheaper.
“It’s one of those things where I just have to enjoy what’s going on in my life right now,” Thurman said.
Revolution Director of Baseball Operations Adam Gladstone has no problem bringing back Aspito and Thurman for another season, because he thinks they are both headed back to major league organizations.
“Jason and Corey are not career Atlantic League players,” Gladstone said. “Jason has been in the league for a year and a half, and Corey has been in the league one season. (Affiliated) clubs aren’t bringing as many players to spring training. Once the season starts and some of those younger players fail to make the jump or can’t compete at the higher level, teams are going to need older players.”
Hitting/pitching lessons: Aspito and Thurman are offering hitting and pitching lessons for players from ages 7 to 18. The two hope to work with local players, whether it’s a Little Leaguer looking to develop the proper form or a high school player in need of some tips.
Contact Aspito at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more information about hitting lessons. A former Chicago White Sox prospect, Aspito played for the University of Texas and reached Triple-A.
Contact Thurman at email@example.com to learn more information about pitching lessons. Drafted out of high school, Thurman pitched in the majors for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2002 and 2003.
Old teammates: Orioles pitcher Mark Hendrickson exchanged phone numbers following the Revolution’s press conference Thursday. The two pitchers played for Toronto from 2002-03.
Hendrickson joked about Thurman’s outgoing personality.
“As you can see,” Hendrickson said. “We always had trouble getting Corey to open up in the clubhouse.”