Born: Miami, FL 9/20/94
Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 185
Acquired: 2017 Draft, Round 28
FutureSox Prospect Rankings
- #25 – Preseason 2019
- Chicago White Sox Organizational All-Star, 2018
- Mid-Season South Atlantic League All Star, 2018
Drafted in the 28th round in 2017 out of a Division II program, Rivera didn’t register much on people’s radars straight away. But he started making his presence felt by that fall in Instructs, with the likes of Nick Hostetler citing the positive surprise at what the saw from the infielder and even Rick Renteria was asking who he was when visiting the camp in Arizona. He then had a bit of a coming-out during the 2018 season with his outstanding first half with the Intimidators. After being named a mid-season All Star, Rivera was promoted to Winston-Salem where he didn’t skip a beat. At the plate, Rivera struck out fewer than 20% of the time and reached base at a .361 clip. The power numbers were a bit surprising (13 home runs), but Rivera proved he can hold his own. The middle infield combo of Rivera and Madrigal at Winston-Salem was as impressive a duo to on-site observers as any seen in the system in 2018.
The toolsy SS had a .959 fielding percentage in 110 games in 2008, showing off a plenty of arm and range. Rivera has the tools to make an impact in the system, and outside of Curbelo and Madrigal, he seems to control his own destiny. The defense is there, but will the bat continue at AA and beyond? He’s got a very quick bat, as has become clear to multiple evaluators, but has been somewhat averse to walks. In the AFL, Laz did start to make some positive changes in plate approach, working longer counts and spoiling off tough pitches to defend the plate. If he can add decent plate discipline to his quick bat and defensive skills, he could be quite the find from the 28th round.
Major League Outlook: Utility infielder most likely