The KC Royals could find a Rule 5 spot for Jose Alberto Rivera
If the KC Royals are looking to add continued heat to their bullpen, they don’t have to look any further than one Astors Rule 5 Draft offering.
The Rule 5 Draft will be kicking off soon and it’s likely the KC Royals be looking for one or two players to take a chance on. There are plenty of options around the field for the taking, but where the Royals stand right now, it’s likely best to continue to look at pitchers.
They have plenty of outfield prospects, and their recent signing of Carlos Santana cements the infield a little more, not leaving much space for a Rule 5 infielder that has to be on the roster all season.
It has already been suggested that Sterling Sharp and Joel Kuhnel get some looks, but another possible option to help out as either a reliever or starter is Jose Alberto Rivera.
Rivera is currently the 14th ranked prospect in the Houston Astros organization. He has no major league experience and hasn’t played above Single-A ball, but it’s not out of the question for the Royals to bring in a player to make that jump, see Carlos Hernandez in 2020.
Rivera, while lacking the experience, might have some potential that could make taking the risk on him worth it.
He has both a change-up and slider that are coming along and have decent power. His fastball, though, is highly rated. In 2018, Rivera’s fastball sat in the high 80s to low 90s. In just a few short years, he has managed to touch triple digits and make his fastball his best and most commanding pitch.
He does have a delivery that could cause an issue and his prospect page suggests he is better suited for shorter stints. While he has seen time both as a reliever and starter, he may find a home easier coming out of the bullpen which is most likely where the Royals would use him.
Rivera has a good strikeout rate, consistently striking out over 9.0 per 9 each year so far, but he also struggles off and on with control. Walks could be a major concern, but at 23, he has time to grow and still has a lot to prove.
Rivera is one prospect the Royals would be taking a major chance on. He is untested at the higher levels of the minor leagues and may not be able to translate any success to the majors. His fastball, though, is not something to look past.
If Kansas City is looking to add more heat to the bullpen, Rivera could be the answer. With a little work on his command and the development of his secondary pitches, the Royals could have a long-term bullpen arm from the Rule 5.
Jose Alberto River presents some risk due to his lack of experience and command issues, but if the Royals can unlock his potential, he could bring high rewards.