We are several weeks into the 2022 Chicago Cubs season, and 25-year-old Alfonso Rivas had only played in three games going into Saturday afternoon’s game. Rivas is currently listed as the organization’s #23 prospect and has accumulated 54 plate appearances between this year and last. He has hit .327/.389/.408 in that span, showing upside. Now is the opportunity to expand upon that.
Cubs need to see what Alfonso Rivas can do
Between the MLB level and his short stint in Triple-A, Rivas has nine hits in 18 at-bats (.500). Last year in 58 games in Iowa he hit .284/.405/.411 with four home runs and an .816 OPS. He went on to hit .318/.388/.409 in 18 MLB games.
It is also worth noting he has shown the ability to spray the ball all over the field. In his professional career, he has a 38.7% pull, 35.5% straight center, and 25.8% opposite field split on batted balls in play. Rivas is not a slugger by any means and will not generate power, but if he can spray the ball around and find grass effectively then it’s another useful cog in this new “contact-oriented” offense.
Not only has Rivas shown upside at the plate, but he is also versatile. He can play in the outfield and first base. With the DH spot also part of the equation, there really is no excuse not to get him more at bats. Yes, there are a lot of occupied spots on the roster, but there needs to be some prioritization of how players are used. It is admittedly easier said than done to fit him in, but it has to be done. Even if he is used in some games as a pinch hitter, try to get him in there as much as possible.
Is this to say Rivas will be a savior of the 2022 season and he is a guaranteed All-Star? No. But when you have a young guy with upside on a team in transition mode, then he has to be given consistent playing time to prove himself.