EMMANUEL RIVERA KANSAS CITY #19
Emmanuel Rivera | Rank: 19 (Preseason: 18)
Team: Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA)ETA: 2020Position: 3BAge: 23 DOB: 06/29/1996Bats: R Throws: RHeight: 6′ 2″ Weight: 195 lb.Drafted: 2015, 19th (579) – KCWatch
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 45 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45
The Universidad Interamericana, a junior college in Puerto Rico, has produced two big leaguers, infielder Jose Hernandez, who spent parts of 15 seasons in the Majors, and Noel Cuevas, who made his debut in 2018. Rivera, a 19th-rounder in 2015, hopes to be the third. While he started his pro career slowly with the Royals, he took a strong winter league performance in Puerto Rico in 2016-17 into a very good full-season debut. He showed some more of the same in 2018, though he was slowed by a right thumb injury.
Rivera has shown that he has excellent hitting skills, drawing some walks and limiting his strikeouts. The one question is what kind of power Rivera will have. It started to show up some in 2017, but not a year later as he tends to open up on his swing, leading to softer contact the other way because his barrel isn’t on point consistently enough to drive the ball. When he does make hard contact, it’s to his pull side, and that’s where his homers went in 2018. With better mechanics, he should be able to drive the ball to right-center and become a better all-around hitter.
With good hands, range and a strong arm, Rivera has all the tools to play third base long-term, and he improved his consistency there. If he can find his way to more extra-base pop, he could develop into a big league regular at the hot corner.