Final 2004 Scouting Report: 2B, Kevin Rios

The New York Mets selected Kevin Rios in the 26th round of the 2003 draft out of Concordia University. Rios, who played for Santa Anna Community College before transferring to Concordia, was teammates with current Mets' prospect Jamar Hill at Santa Anna. Here's a scouting report on Cyclones infielder Kevin Rios.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Kevin Rios
Position: 2B, SS
DOB: July 21, 1981
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 175
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Kevin Rios was one of the team leaders for Concordia University his senior season, hitting .347 with seven home runs in 47 games. A run producer in college, Rios drove home 41 runs and scored another 40 before being selected by the Mets. Upon his signing, Rios was sent to the Kingsport Mets of the rookie Appalachian League and had an inauspicious pro debut with the K-Mets.

After driving in just six runs for Kingsport last season, Rios was sent to Brooklyn in 2004 to provide some depth at the middle infield position for the Cyclones. Rios is wildly popular among his teammates and has proven to be a very important utility player in his short career thus far. He hasn't set the world on fire with his skills, but he's a player that has not come close to realizing his potential.

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2004

Brooklyn

.177

158

28

1

12

17

2

10

40

.239

.234

2003

Kingsport

.231

108

25

0

6

6

1

5

28

.272

.287


* Stats as of 10/1/04

Batting and Power. Despite showing a good batting eye in college, Rios has not been able to duplicate the same success at the professional level. Rios is going to have exhibit a little more self control and patience at the plate if he's to realize the potential he does possess. He routinely puts on power displays during batting practice but has not been able to transfer those same results in to the game action. Rios is a far better hitter than his numbers indicate. He has more power than most middle infielders.

Base Running and Speed. Rios is not your typical middle infielder. While he has decent speed, nobody is going to confuse him and Jose Reyes. He's a smart base runner that will pick his spots when called upon.

Defense. Rios is as solid as they come at both shortstop and second base. He has good range, soft hands, and a very good arm. He has the ability to play second base, shortstop, and third base.

Projection. In the early going Rios has some potential as a utility player down the road. He does not seem to have the tools to be an everyday starting shortstop or second baseman, but his versatility and decent pop in his bat show he has a possible future as a utility player.

ETA. N/A. It all depends on whether or not he can show some success and pull a starting job at some position in the near future, just so he can get enough developmental at-bats. It's too early to tell if he has a future as a utility player and when that might be. Rios should be the backup SS/2B for Hagerstown in 2005 to begin the year.

Second Basemen

2004 Team

Danny Garcia

AAA - Norfolk Tides

David Bacani

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Chris Basak AA - Binghamton Mets
Chase Lambin AA - Binghamton Mets
Robert McIntyre A - St. Lucie Mets
Wilson Batista A - St. Lucie Mets
Blake Whealy A - Capital City Bombers
Matt Fisher A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Kevin Rios A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Marcos Cabral R - Kingsport Mets
Bryan Zech R - Kingsport Mets
Todd Dulaney R - GCL Mets
Armand Gaerlan R - GCL Mets


Comments

The Mets are loaded with possible Major League utility men at second base for them in the minors. Garcia, Bacani, and Basak all have the look of utility players and possible situational hitters down the road. Chase Lambin is the one second base prospect that could wind up being a starting second baseman at the Major League level, but it's more likely he'll be #1 on the utility prospect depth chart. Blake Whealy is the most intriguing second base prospect. He can be a great utility player down the road if he doesn't make the leap as a starting second baseman. There's a decent chance that the Mets might move a shortstop prospect or two over to second base. Here's a quick breakdown the Mets' first base prospects:

1) Danny Garcia - Garcia has been the victim of the New York-Norfolk shuffle, enough so that it has been tough to find consistent at-bats. He's consistent enough at the plate, with good gap power, and solid in the field. Garcia's a legit Major League prospect, but most likely as a utility player and pinch-hitter. Think Joe McEwing with more pop.

2) David Bacani - Nicknamed "Pound for Pound" by his teammates, Bacani gets the most out of his size. At just 5'7", Bacani is a good hitter with some decent power and was among the Eastern League leaders in hitting this past season. He's probably too small to be an everyday starting 2B at the Major League level, but don't tell him that. Bacani can be a very good backup player in the Majors.

3) Chris Basak - Basak is another prospect that has the look of a very useful utility player at the Major League level. He can play 2B, SS, and 3B. He's a decent hitter with adequate power and good speed on the base paths.

4) Chase Lambin - Talk about your logjams. Lambin is another very good utility prospect in the Mets' system but has perhaps the best chance (among Basak, Bacani, and Garcia) to be a Major League starting second baseman. He got some time in at first base and third base at the Instructs this fall. He's a leader in the clubhouse and on the field and is easily one of the hardest workers among all Mets' prospects.

5) Robert McIntyre - Time is running out for McIntyre as a 2B prospect. So much so, he was tested as a possible pitcher in the Instructional Leagues this fall. He's a non-factor as a legit prospect at the plate after hitting .208 for the St. Lucie Mets this past season.

6) Wilson Batista - Batista logged more games in at SS but a permanent switch to 2B is not far off. Blessed with great speed, Batista has a good batting eye and has shown flashes of being able to be a consistent hitter atop the lineup. He only needs some more seasoning before being able to make that leap into the next category of good prospects.

7) Blake Whealy - Perhaps the best Major League 2B prospect in the Mets' farm system, Whealy has shown excellent power for a middle infielder and that should aid his cause as he rises through the ranks. He turned around his season after a disastrous start and got a lot of scouts to sit up and take notice with his strong finish to the 2004 season. Whether or not he makes it to Shea, chances are he'd be a great piece in a future trade at minimum on the strength of his bat.

8) Matthew Fisher - Fisher is a decent power hitter for a guy his size (5'9"). Solid in the field, Fisher has the look of a late round draft pick (33rd round in '04) that could defy the odds and make some noise in the prospect ranks. He reminds some scouts of Marcus Giles for his stature and approach at the plate.

9) Kevin Rios - Rios has more potential than he's shown thus far. Right now he has the look of a very useful utility player, able to play most infield positions. Think Danny Garcia with a little more power potential. He still has a chance to be a good 2B prospect for the Mets.

10) Marcos Cabral - Cabral has decent gap power and could prove to be a useful infield utility player down the road. He does not project to be a Major League starting second baseman at this time.

11) Bryan Zech - A Florida State product, Zech's baptism to professional baseball and the wooden bat did not go over well this past season. He did not show the same promise he had at FSU (.342-8-46-9). We'll see what he can do next season as he's better than his numbers suggest.

12) Todd Dulaney - Dulaney is steady. He's steady on the field and at the plate. The problem is he does not have the look of a difference maker at the plate in the early going.

13) Armand Gaerlan - Despite playing 2B, SS, and 3B, Gaerlan has the look of a future second base prospect in the Mets' farm system. He committed way too many errors this past season and looks more comfortable at second base. Gaerlan has good speed and an excellent batting eye. He could be a good leadoff hitter as he matures.

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