The Cincinnati Reds have announced that they’ve acquired infielder Leonardo Rivas from the Los Angeles Angels to complete the trade from earlier this week that also brought right-handed pitcher Noé Ramirez to Cincinnati in exchange for reliever Raisel Iglesias and cash.
Leonardo Rivas was rated by Baseball America as the Angels #30 prospect, and rated as their #25 prospect by MLB Pipeline. He was originally signed by the Angels in July of 2014 out of Venezuela. Rivas has played both infield and outfield in his career, though a large majority of his innings have come at shortstop (2000+ innings).
During the 2019 minor league season he hit .236/.328/.377 in the hitter friendly California League. For his career he’s just a .252/.380/.362 hitter. Rivas turned 23 in October, so he will play all of the 2021 season as a 23-year-old.
Scouting reports will give you a utility player vibe. The strengths of his game are above-average to plus speed on the bases and a good understanding of the strikezone. His hit tool isn’t great right now, but some scouts believe it could become an average tool in the future if he develops fully. He’s a solid fielder at multiple positions – he’s got experience at shortstop, second base, third base, and all three outfield positions. At shortstop, though, he’s more of a backup caliber defender than an every day defender. He’s a bit undersized, listed at 5′ 10″ and just 150 lbs. That’s going to limit his power ceiling, which is below-average.
Leonardo Rivas is a switch hitter. His splits beyond rookie-level are rather eye-opening. As a right-handed hitter between the 2018 and 2019 seasons he hit .340/.417/.519 with an 11% walk rate and a 16% strikeout rate. For as good as that side of the split was, the other side was just as bad. From the left side of the plate between the 2018 and 2019 seasons Rivas hit just .190/.319/.279 with a 15.4% walk rate and a 28.8% strikeout rate. He’s beaten up left-handed pitching to the max over his last two minor league seasons, but he’s struggled mightily against right-handed pitching in that same span of time.
You can see some video of Leonardo Rivas from the right side of the plate here from early in the 2019 season.
— Taylor Blake Ward (@TaylorBlakeWard) April 5, 2019