Rays Prospects

Rays Winter Leagues Recap: Rene Rivera Shows Off at the Plate

By Robbie Knopf

Big league hitters coming off breakout seasons are supposed to continue having their way in Winter Ball. Of course, there are excuses we can make if they don’t, but it is certainly better for their teams’ sanity if they keep playing well. Luckily for the Tampa Bay Rays, Rene Rivera has continue to hit for the Senadores de San Juan in the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League in Puerto Rico as he prepares for his first season as Rays starting catcher.

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Australian Baseball League: Sydney Blue Sox 2, Brisbane Bandits 1 (12/27)

Sydney 6, Brisbane 4 (12/28)

In the first contest, Johnny Field had a nice game, but the rest of the Bandits offense was held down. Field went 3 for 5 with his 10th stolen base and an RBI as his strong 2014 is coming to a fitting conclusion. Tommy Coyle and Granden Goetzman, meanwhile, both went 1 for 4 while Maxx Tissenbaum pinch-hit unsuccessfully.

The second game, on the other hand, saw Tissenbaum and Coyle lead the way for Brisbane, but the Bandits fell once again. Tissenbaum went 2 for 5 with a homer and 2 RBI, also throwing out 1 of 3 attempted basestealers. Tissenbaum’s line is up to .333/.406/.581 on the ABL season, and combining that with defensive progress has given him quite a winter to remember.

Coyle also had a big game, going 2 for 5 with 2 doubles, an RBI, and a run scored. “Cooling down” has Coyle’s slash line down to .333/.415/.547, but obviously he’s still doing quite well for himself and this contest could be the start of him getting on fire again. Goetzman also went 1 for 5 with a triple while Field went 0 for 4 with a walk.

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League: Indios de Mayaguez 6, Senadores de San Juan 1 (12/26)

Senadores 6, Gigantes de Carolina 1 (12/27)

There isn’t much we can say about the first game, but Rene Rivera went 2 for 4 in that contest and carried it over to yesterday, going 3 for 5 with a double and 2 runs scored. Rivera now has 3 multi-hit games in his last 4 tries to get his line up to .289/.330/.458 on the RCPBL season.

Unlike Tissenbaum above, Rivera is playing first base and focusing more on his bat. On the one hand, when a player has a great season, you want him to stop playing and just continue the momentum into the next year. On the other, however, Rivera doesn’t have the best offensive track record, and it is nice to see him doing everything he can to ensure that his 2014 numbers won’t be so far off from his production moving forward.

Also from the second game, Brendan Harris went 1 for 3 with a walk and Jesus Feliciano went 0 for 4 for Carolina while Shane Dyer tossed a scoreless inning working around a hit for San Juan. Dyer has a solid 3.46 ERA in 11 appearances and 13 innings pitched in the RCPBL, but it would be nice to see him improve upon his 7-7 strikeout to walk ratio.