It seems like Arturo Rivas has been around forever, but he's still only 22 years old. Signed out of Venezuela as a 17 year old, Rivas has long been a candidate for a breakout season, though it is obviously yet to come. Some observers have blamed what they call a lackadaisical attitude, and Rivas has also had some run-ins with teammates, but the raw ability o succeed has always been there. Rivas has made some progress to alter his reputation by working hard to learn English, though he remains self-conscious about it in front of reporters. He also stepped up his game upon a promotion to the Carolina League.
DOB: 02/02/84 Height: 6-0 Weight: 180 B/T: R/R
Arturo Rivas' age 22 season:
Rivas has all the tools for success, including a decent amount of pop. He doesn't mind working deep into counts to get his pitch, but he has some holes in his swing that a pitcher with good breaking stuff can exploit. Rivas seemed to lose interest in playing as his third stint in Delmarva wore on, but he immediately came to life in Frederick. He doesn't have a noticeable platoon split. < p>
Rivas has a wiry strong body that offers enough power projection that his bat will still be useful despite the fact that he will likely always have low-ish batting averages. His walk rates will also carry forward, though they ay not be quite as high at the highest level since major league pitchers will not be afraid to challenge him. Although his speed is a tick above average, Rivas is still raw on the basepaths. One person familiar with Rivas told me that I will be easy to tell when Rivas starts taking baseball more seriously because his stolen base totals and success rate will go up dramatically.
Arturo Rivas has split his professional career between centerfield and right field. He has enough range to play center and he actually seemed to take his defensive game to another level playing next to Nolan Reimold in Frederick. Long-term, however, many project right field as his best position because of his powerful arm. Because of his versatility and athleticism, Rivas has carved out a role as an ideal backup if his bat is unable to carry him into a starting role.
Artuto Rivas will begin next season in high-A Frederick. If he is able to maintain his focus, the organization is hopeful that he can stay ahead of the age curve by finishing up in double-A Bowie. Certainly, Rivas' power numbers will be helped by a less-unfriendly home ballpark and that should be enough for him to reappear on the map in some prospect circles. A motivated Rivas has the potential to reach the major leagues by 2009, but the exact nature of his role could be anything from 25th man to solid regular,
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via email at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com