Leonardo Rivas can build off his successful 2021 campaign with the Reds organization

Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez's (7) bat and helmet rest on the field.
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez's (7) bat and helmet rest on the field. / Kareem Elgazzar, Cincinnati Enquirer via

Leonardo Rivas was little more than a "throw-in" last offseason when the Cincinnati Reds shipped former closer Raisel Iglesias to the Los Angeles Angels. Cincinnati also received reliever Noe Ramirez, who was released before the season started.

Rivas began his season at Double-A Chattanooga and put up some very respectable statistics. A middle infielder by trade, Rivas spent time at second and third base, shortstop, and also in left field. The 24-year-old slashed .274/.382/.337 with 21 RBIs.

Leonardo Rivas had a solid 2021 season for the Reds Double-A affiliate.

A duplicate performance in 2022 could see Leonardo Rivas elevated to Triple-A, and perhaps make his big league debut during the upcoming season. Rivas was once a top prospect in the Angels organization, and has good speed while playing solid defense.

Rivas has a very advanced approach at the plate. Last season, Rivas owned a 14.7% walk-rate, and only a 19.9% strikeout-rate. While he didn't record any home runs last season, Rivas still owned a .719 OPS and a wRC+ of 110. Rivas did record six doubles and three triples in 190 at-bats. The speedster also swiped nine bags.

Rivas is also a switch-hitter; something that team's covet nowadays with the three-batter minimum in effect. With his speed, arm strength, and advanced approach to hitting, Leonardo Rivas could be a serviceable utility player at the major league level.

While that's not overly intriguing to most fans, some players like Max Schrock, Kyle Farmer, Alex Blandino, and Alejo Lopez all possess skillsets that make them serviceable major leaguers over short stints, but are not necessarily viewed as everyday.

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Still, those types of players are very necessary, especially with today's game being so dependent on versatility. Look for Rivas to begin the 2022 season at Double-A Chattanooga, but one could quickly see the Reds moving Rivas up the ranks to Triple-A Louisville.