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.

31 Responses

  1. Jimbo44CN

    Interesting. He is young, can run and maybe develop into a singles hitter. That would be great, but don’t know where he could fit in. Guess just a minor leager for now.

  2. Joey

    Was it ever specified how much money the Reds sent over in the trade?

  3. TR

    Rivas could take over the super-sub role if Farmer is the regular shortstop for 2021.

  4. IndyRedsFan

    Sounds like someone who should consider giving up switch=hitting.

  5. MK

    Really roles over on that front foot and ankle after hitting the ball. Going to be difficult to get out of the box quickly.

  6. LB

    The thing that really caught my eye was the piece in the Pipeline write-up that said Rivas had finally started to fill out and add strength over the 2019-20 offseason, but we didn’t get to see how it played.

    UTIL is probably his role assuming he makes it to MLB at some point, but it’ll be interesting to see how much the added strength helps out on the offensive side.

    Also, Longenhagen over at FanGraphs liked him more than others….had him as the Angels’ #20 and a 40 FV (Longenhagen issues much lower FVs than other sites, so 40 FV is higher than I expected). Also called Rivas a “high-probability major leaguer”

    • DaveCT

      The BA write up is more optimistic than I thought. He’s the type of player that grows on scouts the more they see him, and he gets in base, so that’s a positive as well.

    • KDJ

      You mean you would rather have one really good player rather than yet two more replacement level guys?

  7. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I’m really not interested in any “strength” in hitting for anyone right now. We need people who can get on base. This guy, so far, has a 380 OBP. As long as he can get out of the Rookie and A-ball league now.

    If you want to consider his “strength” in hitting a weakness, that’s fine with me. I’m not even concerned with it.

    What I will say seems to be his weakness will be his fielding. Not major league ready at all.

  8. GreatRedLegsFan

    Does anybody know if he is playing winter ball in Venezuela?

  9. Cubano

    Crazy. The Reds went all-in last year, and they’re left with a bunch of under-performing, high risk players with minimal trade value- aside from their pitching staff. Suarez seems like the lone bounce-back candidate with value in his contract. Looking around, man- the Nats seem like a perfect trade partner. They have a massive hole on their offense without Rendon, and they can address a hole on their outfield via free agency- but after going all-in for 2019, I don’t think the Nats have the prospect capital to land Suarez. Seems like a match made in heaven- Suarez could rake in the NL East. But I don’t see the value coming back to the Reds.

    • David

      If they are throwing in the towel already then trade Suarez to Washington. Try to get Carter Kieboom to play SS, get Drew Mendoza who can replace Votto as soon as DH comes in to play, and OF Prospect De La Rosa. Get India some time at AAA and then up to play 3b.


      C Stephenson
      1b Mendoza/Moose
      2b Kieboom
      3b India
      SS Garcia
      LF Shogo
      CF Senzel
      RF Castillanos
      DH Votto/Moose

  10. JayTheRed

    Now knowing the other player I am feeling a little disappointed in the trade. Sigh.. In the next two months this team better do something legit to actually help the ballclub.
    Right now I am pretty frustrated….. there is time for it to get better still though. I just have a hard time trusting the Reds though.

  11. TR

    The Reds penchant for not trading players when they are the most tradeable leaves the R. Iglesias trade to the Angels look underwhelming.

  12. Redleg4life

    I could see him at shortstop if we don’t have other options. I can only hope that by saving the money at the expense of the bullpen we keep sonny gray.

  13. Doc

    Don’t disagree with your overall assessment based on activity to date, but can’t classify the winter meetings one way or the other yet. We don’t know what discussions were started that will result in moves. Not having in person meetings probably further impedes this year’s version. There was a paucity of significant deals all the way around MLB, so the Reds are not lagging behind the league.

    • Mark Moore


      What happens during the actual timeframe of the Winter Meetings usually doesn’t mean that much. It’s what comes afterward that has impact longer term.

  14. DataDumpster

    Sounds about as promising as that 9+ ERA guy we got for Stephenson. I guess its early but have the Reds adding anybody that has a decent chance of helping them on the MAJOR league team? So, if a Sonny Gray trade is still being considered, why not trade Suarez? That might be the only remaining option to get a high value SS and perhaps a pitcher or utility guy. Then, there is a chance to be competitive if David Bell somehow transposes himself.

    But, in any case, Gray is a keeper and success story. I also think that trading Suarez could unlock similar trade value and allow the Reds to take advantage of one of the few advantages of their poorly constructed team; the infield position flexibility from Moustakus (better at 3rd), Senzel, Farmer, and whomever can catch the ball and get on base otherwise from the 8 roster positions yet to be filled.

    • DanD

      As much as I love watching Geno play I believe with his contract and with Moose, Senzel (would prefer to see him at either 2b or 3b to stop him from diving and hitting the wall) and India the Reds should look at getting the best value for Suarez.

  15. RedBaron

    Could be worse. He gets on base and is a top 20-25 Angels prospect. Add that to a solid middle reliever and unloading ~$9M and it doesn’t look so bad..of course this all hinges on signing a quality SS.

    • RedBaron

      I’d put him right around 16-18 on our Top 25 list BTW. Right around Vlad…

  16. Pablo

    In other happy news, the Reds have already cancelled the 2021 Opening Day parade. Sigh………………

    • Doug Gray

      To be fair, the Reds didn’t cancel it – the Findlay Market Parade committee has done that.

  17. Jake Y.

    Without having seen him play, it sounds like he profiles similarly to a Kiké Hernandez-type of player. Certainly could provide value if it comes together.

  18. CleatsOn

    Not a good trade to say the least, but honestly, I’m glad Iglesias is gone. The most simple stats that represent how I felt about him every time he came into a game the last three seasons is that He lost 17 games for the Reds in 2018 and 2019 — 17 games! And this past year he lost 3 in the short season which had him on pace to lose 8 or 9 in a full season. Losing at a rate of 25 games over three full seasons is not what I’m looking for in a closer or significant situation reliever, no matter what his other numbers are. I’m guessing this dump was more than just a salary dump in the minds of the Reds brass.

    • Ralph S

      For a salary dump, why bother sending any cash to the Angels on this lousy deal? The Angels have the $ to fully pay Iglesias. This deal is a lose-lose.

      The only salary dump where the Reds need to send money is when they finally trade Votto to get rid of his ridiculous contract. Even then I doubt they would have any takers.