One thing that the Seattle Mariners and Tom McNamara have consistently done in recent MLB Drafts is go after stocky guys that have their bats as their clear best tool and that always earn the label of "gamer". Well, they've done it again with left-handed hitting high school third baseman Joe Rizzo at No. 50 overall.
Rizzo is an undersized left-handed hitting prep infielder who may end up being converted to catcher. And while he doesn't have any plus tools now except for the hit tool, there does seem to be a lot of love out there for the bat. At the end of last month, Scout.com's own Jeff Ellis ranked Rizzo -- who he acknowledged was a man without a position -- as the 41st best prospect in the 2016 Draft, stating in part, "he is going to outwork everyone on your team and...he can hit."
Rizzo falls in line with other early McNamara picks like Tyler O'Neill, Joe DeCarlo, Marcus Littlewood, Nick Franklin, etc., who all were bats first with a hard working, no-nonsense mentality about the game.
The press release on Rizzo from the M's simply called him an "infielder", and I haven't heard anyone from the club mention the catcher conversion, but I have heard it elsewhere. Wherever he does end up playing as a pro (which will most likely start in Peoria in the Rookie Arizona League this summer), Rizzo's bat sounds like it will drive him.
SeattleClubhouse will have more on Rizzo and more on the rest of the Mariners’ 2016 Draft as it unfolds in the coming days.
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