Phillies Prospect #52: Matt Rizzotti

Sometimes, the toughest of problems can have the simplest of solutions, especially if they're put into the proper perspective. That's what Matt Rizzotti did and it led to an offensive awakening for the powerful left-hander.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 6th round of the 2007 Draft.

B: T: L  /  Height: 6' 5"  /  Weight: 235 lbs.

Birth Date: December 24, 1985

2007 Team/League: Williamsport (New York / Penn League)

Positions Played in 2007: 1B (46 g)

School: Manhattan College

Batting and Power: Matt Rizzotti had an epiphany while playing for Manhattan College. He realized that in the grand scheme of things, hitting a baseball wasn't anything to worry about. He realized that all around, there are people struggling with real life issues and in the scheme of things, baseball isn't something you should worry about. That realization led him to two things; 1. The desire to do charity work and 2. He started hitting like never before in his life. Rizzotti's easy, care free approach at the plate truly makes him a unique player and makes him tough to pitch to, because he's not over thinking anything. Plus, if a pitcher gets him out, it's not anything that Rizzotti is going to worry about and he won't be thinking about that last at bat the next time he comes to the plate. Rizzotti features a nice, short stroke and has good natural power and the mechanics that allow him to hit the ball to all fields with power. He also isn't up there thinking home run and will take whatever a pitcher gives him, including a walk.

Baserunning and Speed: There simply isn't much speed in Rizzotti's legs and he's not going to be able to do a whole lot on the bases. His lack of speed is one reason why the Phillies haven't followed through with their original plan, which was to move Rizzotti to the outfield and they've chosen instead - at least for now - to keep him at first base.

Defense: You're not going to see a lot of great plays out of Rizzotti, but it's also very rare to see him boot a routine play. He makes the plays that he's expected to make and everything else is hit and miss. He's able to scoop balls out of the dirt well and has a good enough arm and instincts to start a double-play on a ball hit to him.

Projection: His first season in the pros wasn't outstanding, but he hit for a respectable .260 average and took a couple of pitches out of the park. He's got all of the required skills to succeed and will continue to develop well and move through the system. First base isn't a position that the Phillies are especially deep at, but Rizzotti is arguably right at the top of the list and by the time all is said and done, it's very possible that he'll put himself squarely at the top of anyone's list of the top Phillies first base prospects.

Comparison: One scout said that he can see the same type of skills that Keith Hernandez had. Nothing really splashy, but a quality ballplayer who gets the job done and then comes out the next day and does it all over again.

What else you should know about Matt Rizzotti: 

  • Rizzotti drew 56 walks in 2007 to set an all-time season high at Manhattan College, breaking the record that he set just the season before.
  • Rizzotti actually looks for various charities on the internet and then signs up to help them when he can.
  • Was originally drafted out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in the 46th round of the 2004 Draft.

Matt Rizzotti's career stats

2007 Williamsport 2 27 .260 63 215 26 56 19 1 0 30 63 .355 .386 .741

Philly Baseball Insider Top Stories