Yesterday the Miami Marlins promoted infielder J.T. Riddle to the major league roster. This is his second period on the roster this year: he played eight games in April, although we neglected to write him up at the time. Let’s correct that.
Riddle was drafted by the Marlins in the 13th round in 2013 from the University of Kentucky. He’s been a steady though unspectacular performer with the bat, hitting .275/.318/.374 over 1525 minor league at-bats including a .276/.326/.366 last year between Double-A and Triple-A.
Riddle was rated as a Grade C prospect pre-season and was not ranked on the Miami Marlins Top 20 prospects list for 2017.
2017 has gone well so far in the minors, with a .290/.302/.484 mark in Triple-A. He went 2-for-14 (.143) with a home run for the Marlins in April.
A left-handed hitter, Riddle is listed at 6-1, 180, born October 12, 1991. He is a line drive contact hitter with some occasional gap power, though it is unlikely he’ll hit many home runs. He makes contact and doesn’t strike out much, but his approach is aggressive, with a low walk rate making his OBP highly-dependent on his batting average.
His best skills are defensive, with a strong throwing arm and excellent instincts that help his average natural range play up. He is extremely reliable on routine plays at shortstop and has looked very good during trials at second. This is a utility infield profile all the way, but his makeup and defense could give him an edge in bench roles.
Although power isn’t a big part of his game, he’ll remember this shot the rest of his life: