Chris Rivera on the Rise?
Chris Rivera is a 6-1 185 pound SS from Fullerton CA. He plays his High School ball at El Dorado High. I had a great opportunity to catch up with Chris and have a chat about the current season the showcase circuit and everything else you could think of.
I think it’s important to note that Chris makes a very good arguement for best defensive SS in the country along with Oscar Mercado and JP Crawford. Growing up as a Yankee fan and of course Derek Jeter fan it’s easy to see how that happened. When asked how he was doing so far this season in the field he said ” I’ve been making all the routine plays but I haven’t had a whole lot hit my way so just trying to make the routine plays and stay with it”. I talked to Chris about him playing on the mound as well as behind the plate. He said “I’ve been pitching since probably Little League and my coaches saw I had the arm strength so I get on the mound here and there but my heart is as a SS”. Which is good to hear considering how valueable a good defensive SS can be to a MLB team these days.
As for playing behind the plate Chris mentioned ” I love playing catcher actually” which is funny to hear considering there’s been some talk about how people love him behind the plate. Me personally I think not only does he seem comfortable as a SS but he also loves playing the position and that’s where I’d put him. Which happens to be just fine because again a good SS is always much needed regardless of any organization (With the sole exception of maybe the Rangers). I think the question that comes to mind about Chris and his future is whether or not the bat will play at the next level. Me personally I’ve had his bat grow on me as of late and he’s certainly producing so far with a .500 average. I talked to Chris about his struggles at the plate last season and he had this to say ” I think I was doing way too much at the plate last year it wasn’t coming as natural as it had been” he said he and his father talked and his father had mentioned him having those quick hands. He says now ” I’m just letting it come to me I don’t try to do to much with it I try taking it the opposite way when possible”. Another aspect of his game is on the basepaths and as he admitted he’s no burner but he feels he can deffinately use his legs to hurt the opposition. When you hear about Chris the first thing or one of the first things brought up is how natural the game comes to him and just how instinctual of a player he is. Well after having a chat with him it certainly shows through hearing him talk about the game. He seems like a very level headed kid who just loves playing baseball and might I add a great teammate. He had this to say about the multiple positions and such “Anything to help the team man I’m all about the team first” although he feels El Dorado has enough on the diamond that as he puts it ” The weight certainly isn’t all on my shoulders” he feels they have a strong up the middle core which would also include him at SS and CF Nate Alam.
I think Chris certainly has the chance to rise on up this June as I have him just outside that 1st round mark at the moment. If he keeps on swinging the bat as he has been so far that certainly will happen. Chris is a great kid and I want to say Thank You to him for taking the time out of his busy schedule to give me a call. I wish nothing but the best for him and El Dorado High and I think he’s someone to keep an eye on throughout his career.Those instincts guys always seem to find themselves playing even above their own talent at times and getitng the most out of everything they have.