Triple-A Infielder Of The Week: Mets T.J. Rivera
Just as he has done all season long, Mets infield prospect T.J. Rivera just continues to hit as he leads the Mets Triple-A affiliate Las Vegas 51s in their playoff hunt. After Sunday’s games, the 51s are in second place, six games behind first place El Paso Chihuahuas, in the Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern Division.
In early part of July, Rivera missed a few games due to a tight hamstring, but has since returned and picked up where he left off.
Over the past week spanning 8/1 to 8/7, Rivera is batting .517 (15 for 29), with eight runs scored, six doubles, two home runs, 11 RBIs, three walks and just three strikeouts. Saturday night was his highlight of the week as he was 3 for 5, with two doubles, a home run and five RBIs.
The Bronx, NY native has 37 multi-hit games on the season, a streak of seven straight games with at least two hits, enjoyed a 14 and 17 game hit streaks and is currently on an eight game hitting streak. In the Pacific Coast League, Rivera leads with a .347 batting average, second with 80 RBI’s, and fourth with 128 hits. On the season, he also has 62 runs scored, 26 doubles, and 11 home runs.
One would think that a player that hits as consistently as Rivera does would be on the verge of making his MLB debut, but that is far from the truth as the Mets just continue to ignore the writing on the wall. Trust me I am not the only mind that is boggled by their refusal to grant the long time Mets prospect an opportunity to finally play in a big league game, but there is no stopping Rivera and soon enough, he will either get that opportunity with the Mets or another organization and the team that finally gives him that chance will benefit greatly from his dedication to the game.
“It’s not the first night he had a night like this,” manager Wally Backman tells Justin Emerson of the Las Vegas Review Journal after Saturday’s game where Rivera had three hits and five RBIs. “I’m shocked that T.J. has not an opportunity to go to the big leagues yet.”
The one thing I read all the time through the social media sites is how Las Vegas numbers are just bloated and that may be true for some players especially ones that have been called up due to those bloated numbers, but I have to say that with Rivera, it wouldn’t have mattered if he played in the worst hitting parks in the league, he would still get his hits and still bat over .300. What people don’t realize is that Rivera is a professional hitter already and when he gets his promotion and a real chance to stick with the big club, his minor league days will be a thing of the past.
Back in May, Adam Rubin of ESPN asked a National League scout if there was anything about Rivera’s swing that might be good for Triple-A but not so for the majors and the scout responded, “No there is not. He just needs an opportunity. This kid hits and keeps hitting.”
I am sure Rivera’s wife, family, friends and even teammates, would all like to be a fly on the wall when the question is asked to the Mets front office, ‘What’s the hold up on promoting T.J. Rivera?’. Well you can add me to that list as well, because that is an answer we have all been waiting for. #CallUpTJ
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