A senior-sign from the University of Tampa, the White Sox signed Rivera for just $1K in 2017. Since then, he has done nothing but outplay his draft pedigree. Rivera slashed .314/.361/.481 with 13 home runs across Class A and High A in 2018, and I saw him with the Winston-Salem Dash in the Carolina League playoffs.
Rivera is a hyper-aggressive hitter early in the count, swinging freely regardless if he’s ahead or behind. His bat-to-ball skills atone for average bat speed, and he makes hard contact on pitches up in the zone. Long-term, this approach is concerning and could expose him to hard stuff away. He profiles as a 40-grade hitter, one that struggles with quality spin and more advanced pitching up the ladder. Seeing as he has below-average raw power, the power numbers have been impressive. Even so, Rivera projects more as a gap-power type than a true home run producer at the big league level. An average runner, he gets the most out of his speed defensively, showing above-average mobility and range to both sides. Rivera has soft hands, and a fringy/playable arm is just enough to finish routine plays at shortstop.
The 23-year-old will head to the Arizona Fall League, where he’ll face the best pitching of his pro career. His ability to play up the middle with a decent bat that’s able to handle spot-starting assignments gives Rivera a chance at reaching the big leagues. The ceiling is a role player who comes off the bench and slots in around the infield.