Mariners' prospect spotlight: Leo Rivas

26-year-old infielder with Jose Caballero vibes and a lot more contact ability could make his mark filling in for clubhouse leader.
Seattle Mariners Photo Day
Seattle Mariners Photo Day / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Despite some trends that might muddy their now optimistic outlook, the Mariners have shown resilience, winning seven of their last ten games. Mitch Garver hitting under the Mendoza line is one concern. The other Mitch, dishing out extra bases to the opposition due to poor defense in right field, is another. However, the setback of clubhouse leader and leadoff man J.P. Crawford going on the shelf for a strained oblique is the worst outcome thus far. 

These types of injuries tend to take a while to heal, especially when discussing athletes. That's why newly promoted Leo Rivas could be with the team for anywhere from three weeks to, the more likely scenario, more than a month. But what does the 26-year-old infielder bring to the table, and more importantly, how can he help the Mariners continue to rise the American League West standings? 

Leo Rivas is now up in the bigs with the Mariners

Manager Scott Servais has always loved speed and versatility. His propensity to stock his bench with guys who check those boxes is evident. Over the past four years, Dylan Moore, Jose Caballero, and Sam Haggerty played vital roles in spelling starters, stealing late-game bags, and flashing their versatility. Leo Rivas has versatility in spades, not just playing both middle infield positions and the hot corner in the minor leagues but excelling to a .959 fielding percentage across nine minor league seasons. 

Rivas offers high contact ability and a great understanding of the strike zone. Last season, he finished with 86 walks and 89 strikeouts in 106 games with the Arkansas Travelers. He also ran a solid .255/.411/.757 slash and racked up 50 steals. 

This season, he's flashing the same skills (11 BB/13 SO) for the Pacific Coast League-leading Tacoma Rainiers. 

The switch-hitting infielder will likely play two to three games weekly, giving Servais yet another late-game base stealer. Showcasing that contact ability and dominate-the-zone tendencies will be essential for Rivas as he fills in for Crawford. Worst comes to worst, the glove and speed will play a significant role late in games.