Congratulations to T.J. Rivera of the Saint Lucie Mets for being named today’s MMN Player of the Week.
When I looked at the candidates this past week in all levels of the Mets farm system, I tried to compare to other deserving winners like Las Vegas 51’s Jordany Valdespin who won last week’s MMN’s and PCL Player of the Week by putting up some gaudy numbers. JV1 was basically out of his mind since being demoted, so trying to compare other minor league players to his week, was kind of unfair. I basically looked at what the player meant to his team. There were some that caught my attention which made my decision even harder, but I felt that T.J. Rivera was the ideal player to receive this week’s honor.
T.J., 24-years-old and a native New Yorker, was born in the Bronx and signed by the Mets as a free agent out of Troy University in 2011. Rivera has moved up the ranks very quickly, playing in Kingsport and Brooklyn in 2011 and compiling a .301 batting average in 42 games between the two. In 2012, he played in Savannah for 64 games where he batted .333 with eight home runs, 14 doubles and 37 RBIs. That same season, he was promoted to the Saint Lucie Mets and in the same amount of games batted .306 with one home run, 29 RBIs and 15 doubles.
In 2013, T.J.’s second season with the Saint Lucie Mets, he’s batting .287, 21 doubles and 36 RBIs, but the past week he consistently put the ball in play with good results. Since Monday July 29th, T.J is 11 for 26 (.423), six runs scored, a double and two walks. He went 4-for-4 on Thursday with two runs scored and a walk. T.J. has hit safely in 6 out of 7 games this week with three multi-hit games. He isn’t a power hitter and didn’t put up gaudy numbers like Valdespin did the previous week, but the key with T.J is he was consistent at the plate and helped his team to a 4-3 week and a tie for first place in the second half of the South Division of the Florida State League.
T.J is surrounded in the lineup with the likes of Lucas Duda, Kevin Plawecki and Dustin Lawley, and he is holding his own and proving his promotion to Saint Lucie last season was another step in the right direction. If Rivera continues to produce and play well, it won’t be long before he is promoted to the next level.