It is difficult to look at a pitcher with just nine total appearances as a professional, all of which came in the Arizona Complex League, as a possible breakout candidate. And yet that is the case with Oakland A’s prospect Eduardo Rivera.
The A’s 11th round selection in the 2021 MLB Draft, Rivera has been an intriguing prospect since joining the organization. He has a viable three pitch mix – a fastball that sits around 93 MPH and can touch 97 MPH, a slider that can generate swings and misses, and a changeup that he is still developing.
Oakland A’s could have hidden gem in Eduardo Rivera
And then there is his size. At just 19 years old, Rivera is 6’7″ tall and weighs 237 pounds, giving him plenty of room to add strength. As his fastball velocity has already ticked up since joining the A’s, and he is improving his feel for his changeup, it is more understandable that MLB.com considers him a possible breakout candidate for 2023.
It is a matter of getting Rivera on the mound. He has battled arm injuries since his debut in 2021, limiting him to those previously mentioned nine appearances. His performance has been a mixed bag as he has allowed seven runs, five earned, in his 14.2 innings, striking out 23 batters. However, he has also allowed 15 hits and 11 walks as he works his way back.
Getting more time on the mound should fix his command issues as well. He has the raw stuff and the potential to be a solid piece of the starting rotation if he can harness his arsenal. Otherwise, he could be a force to reckon with in the bullpen.
That journey should begin in earnest in 2023. If his arm is healthy, it would not be a surprise to see Rivera begin the season in Stockton. From there, Rivera could end up becoming the type of pitcher the A’s hoped for while fulfilling his expected destiny of emerging as a breakout prospect.
Eduardo Rivera is considered a possible breakout candidate for the Oakland A’s. He just needs to stay on the mound for that to happen.