Sunday, November 22, 2015

WSBGMs Rule 5 Pick - TJ Rivera

One of the perks of being the lousiest team in baseball is the privilege of picking first in the Rule 5 draft, which will take place during the Winter Meetings in December.  I was looking over some of "prospects" that were left unprotected and came across one that seems like a good gamble in the form the Mets 26th ranked prospect TJ Rivera.
Photo courtesy of David Conde from Legends On Deck

MLB.com scouting report - The old adage goes that if you hit, you'll find a spot in the big leagues. Rivera, a non-drafted free agent from Troy University, is certainly putting that axiom to the test. Having to prove himself every step of the way, Rivera has done just that with his bat, using his ability to hit to carry him all the way to the top of the organizational ladder in the Minor Leagues. He makes consistent contact and rarely strikes out, hitting at least .289 in each pro season heading into 2015, topping .300 in 2011, 2012 and again in 2014, when he led the organization in batting average. His ability to hit for average is really his lone offensive tool, as he doesn't possess over-the-fence power, and speed isn't a big part of his game. But along with his bat, he does offer positional flexibility, showing the ability to play second, short and third base capably. All of this points to a potential big league career as a utility guy. That may not sound like much, but for a player who wasn't even drafted back in 2011, it would be plenty.

Over 5 minor league seasons, the recently turned 27 year old Rivera has hit .318/.784 in 520 games with 305 R, 116 DBL, 24 HR, 259 RBI, and 24 SB and has seen time at every position in the infield.  He's not going to hit homeruns and he's not going to steal bases.  However, he hits and gets on base, and therefore stands the chance of scoring and knocking in runs.

With JP Crawford soon ready to take over at SS, now might be the time to trade Freddy Galvis.  Galvis himself would make a good utility infielder, and that's likely his future with the Phillies, but he will never hit for average like Rivera has the capability of.  Rivera and Andres Blanco could handle SS until Crawford is ready, and Rivera could also make some starts at 2nd base and 3rd too if necessary.  Hell, maybe Rivera could be the Phillies everyday 2nd baseman.

So, if I'm playing the role of Phillies GM Matt Klentak, I'm taking TJ Rivera with the 1st overall pick on the Rule 5 draft then seeing if Freddy Galvis and/or Cesar Hernandez can be traded to bring the organization something of use, preferably high level prospects for the bullpen.

5 comments:

Bob D said...

A role player would be perfect. I do think if the Phils trade someone it will be from middle IF position as they have an abundance there. Especially with Sweeney and Crawford likely becoming part of the 25 man MLB roster soon. Bullpen is the other area where they could stash a player for the year. IF your lucky a role player is what one can net in rule 5 draft, Herrera seems to be the exception being an everyday OF'er. I like the idea of Rivera as I hate strike outs and low OB%.

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