Kevin Rivers - EYE and Arc

Q.  Where do you peg his pitch recognition, at 21?

A.  Super high.  He hadn't played pro ball before, and here he is at 1.00.  Right out of the gate.  Whattaya want, 1.5?

Taro says,

Sometimes a high BABIP in the low minors can be a sign of a guy who is too good for the league. Looking at his monthly splits hes never had a BABIP lower than .375. Given that LD rate is really unreliable in the minors, I think hes probably going to be high BABIP wherever he goes although hes going to lose 50 points easy as he moves up.

The K rate is a bit high which is usually a bad sign in the low minors, but since Rivers' BB rate is so high as well, we're probably talking about a bunch of "called strikeouts". A bunch of BBs and called strikeouts usually pan out in the higher levels if the hitter's pitch recognition skills can catch up with the better pitching.

The only real way of finding out if Rivers' pitch recognition skills are going to translate to the higher levels is to promote him and give him an everyday job. High A seems like a good spot for him in '11.

Spot on.  Rivers is pitch-stalking, and he's playing the deep-count game in a league where the umpire's call on a 3-2 count is practically randomized (by ML standards).  A young pitcher in low A throws a curve ball across the swing area, the ball's angling, at what point did it get close?

Wouldn't sweat the K's whatsoever, considering the deep counts.


This was Rivers' first year in pro ball, and here he is showing a 1.00 EYE?  What was Nick Franklin's EYE?  (You know what we mean.)



Q.  Prognosis?

A.  Rivers is now one of 20 or 30 or 40 interesting Mariners prospects, any of whom could, realistically, become regulars in the majors (and most of whom won't).

We remember Bill James doing a Q-and-A online.  Some casual fan, on a July 15th before the trade deadine, being asked "Do the Sox have any interesting prospects who could become quality major leaguers?"

Bill, terse as always when asked a feebleminded question, replied "Dozens of them."


You get to AAA/ML and the difference between one player and another is hair-fine.  They're all inhuman.  Some just a touch more inhuman than others. In an absolute sense, the difference between Raul Ibanez and Mike Carp is almost imperceptible -- and might even be solely mental.

How do you take a dozen age-21 players, and "project" which one will show that hair's breadth of difference?  It's unpossible.  You just let them play.  In Rivers' case, he should be given the space in the farm system to prove himself.

Rivers is an ML prospect.  Thanks to Spectator, it will be fun watching him next year.  Keep us posted amigo.



Dr D



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