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What to expect from Milwaukee Brewers rookie Yadiel Rivera

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Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Brewers infielder Yadiel Rivera made the major league roster out of spring training. A ninth round pick in 2010 from high school in Puerto Rico, Rivera made his big league debut last year and went 1-for-14. What can we expect in a larger sample?

From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:

Yadiel Rivera, INF, Milwaukee Brewers
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-2 WT: 175 DOB: May 2, 1992

2012: Grade C; 2013: Grade C; 2014: Grade C; 2015: Grade C

Yadiel Rivera is being groomed as a utility infielder. He’s outstanding at second base and very good at shortstop. He seems a little stretched or uncomfortable at third base but given that he can handle the other spots without trouble I think that’s just a matter of needing more innings at the hot corner. With the bat he could probably hit .250 eventually, but without the power, walks, or speed to be a positive asset for most teams. His glove could keep him in the majors for a long time but his chance to be a starter is remote without a huge improvement in his hitting. Grade C.


Over his minor league career, Rivera has hit just .244/.289/.349 in 2470 at-bats. He has no power and he doesn't steal bases either; he is in the majors entirely for his defensive ability. Various projection systems give virtually identical results: .226/.264/.314 from Steamer, .231/.268/.316 from ZiPS, .228/.260/.333 from Baseball Prospectus.
Scouting reports give no reason to doubt the numbers: he doesn't have premium bat speed or power and his feel for hitting is only marginal. The best thing you can say about his bat is that he doesn't strike out as much as he used to.

His glove will keep him on the bench bubble for several years and I suppose it is possible his bat could improve a bit when he gets into his late 20s. Don't expect any fantasy value, and in real baseball all of his contributions will be on the defensive side.