Profile: Originally drafted by the Brewers in the ninth round of the 2010 draft out of Manuela Toro High School in Caguas, Puerto Rico, Rivera made his pro debut with Milwaukee’s AZL affiliate that same season, hitting just .209 in 49 games with Maryvale. Despite his young age, Rivera moved up quickly, splitting the 2011 season between Helena and Class-A Wisconsin, hitting a combined .236 between the two levels.
Rivera returned to Wisconsin in 2012 and earned a spot on the Midwest League All-Star team after batting .247 with 12 home runs in 127 games. He advanced to High-A Brevard County the following year and saw action in 129 contests for the Manatees, hitting .241 and scoring 51 runs. After opening 2014 back at Brevard, he earned a promotion to Double-A Huntsville in late June and finished out the season there, hitting .262 in 58 games.
The Puerto Rican middle infielder opened 2015 with the Brewers new Double-A affiliate in Biloxi, but quickly earned his way to Triple-A, joining the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in mid-May. He spent the majority of the season with the Sky Sox before rejoining Biloxi down the stretch for the Shuckers playoff run.
Strengths: Rivera’s biggest asset is his defensive versatility. After coming up as a shortstop, he has seen action at second base, shortstop and third base over the past two seasons. Long and lanky, Rivera is very athletic with great range and good instincts. He has an above average arm in the field and a fairly quick bat at the plate.
Weaknesses: At this point in his career, Rivera’s defense is far ahead of his offense. He hasn’t put up eye-popping offensive numbers in any of his six minor league seasons, but his bat has at least shown improvement as he’s climbed the ladder. He also does not have a lot of power, collecting just 33 home runs in 668 minor league at bats.
Future: Rivera’s best position is probably shortstop, but with Jean Segura, Luis Sardinas and Orlando Arcia also in the mix, he likely won’t see much action at the position with Milwaukee. Third base seems a more likely spot for Rivera in the short-term and while he may not hit enough to be an everyday player at the big league level, he projects as a solid defensive utility man for the future and depending what happens this offseason, could find his way back on to the Brewers roster in 2016 and beyond.