Photo credit: Old Dominion Athletics

The Cleveland Guardians selected Geo Rivera – RHRP in the 19th round (571st overall) in the 2022 MLB Draft.

Geo Rivera – RHRP

School: Walters State CC, TN
Age: 21.6; Ht: 6’3; Wt: 260
Throws: Right

Pre-Draft Rankings:

GBI – 16-20 rounds
Baseball America – 451
Perfect Game – 580
Prospects Live – NR

Willie Hood’s Analysis:

As a freshman in 2020 at Old Dominion, Rivera made five appearances in relief before the season was shut down by COVID. He recorded 12 strikeouts and walked four batters. Returning as a redshirt freshman in 2021 he made two appearances both from the bullpen striking out three and walking two batters. Following the 2021 season, he pitched in the Valley League with the Strasburg Express making seven relief appearances covering 9.2 innings with 11 strikeouts and three walks. He transferred to Walters State Community College in Tennessee for the 2022 season. The soon-to-be-former Senators right-hander dominated on the mound this season to the tune of 89 strikeouts (13.73 K9) across 58.1 innings with 15 walks. He made 20 appearances, five starts (1 CG 16K), 15 relief appearances, and five saves. The big-bodied broad-shouldered righty pitched in the MLB Draft League this summer for the Frederick Keys. He logged 13 innings of work recording 12 punch-outs and four walks. He is committed to Oregon State in 2023.

Rivera is a 6’3, 260-pound physical presence on the mound. It’s a quick delivery from a three-quarters arm slot with crossfire action which he repeats well. Rivera sits in the low-to-mid 90s and touches 97 mph with his heater. It produced a 28% whiff rate in the MLB Draft League. His above-average flashing hard slider ranges from 81-85 mph. It produces spin rates north of 3,000 rpm (and no less than 2,900 rpm) along with 14″ of HZB and 3″ of IVB good for a 35% whiff rate in the MLB Draft League. These two pitches make for a dangerous combo on the mound. He rounds out his four-pitch arsenal with a lesser-used curve that sits 77-79 mph, and a changeup in the 82-85 mph. It is a power bullpen profile with his fastball/slider combo providing a nasty one-two punch. There is a possibility the organization gives him time to develop as a starter with his 4-pitch mix and good control. The Virginia native is expected to sign in the coming days. Look for the powerful right-hander to start his 2023 season in Low-A Lynchburg.

Press release:

In 20 games/5 starts for the Walters State Senators in 2022, Rivera went 8-2 with a 1.70 ERA (11ER/58.1IP), one complete
game and 5 saves. The 21-year-old did not allow a hit, while surrendering just 2 free passes, across a 7.0-inning complete
game in game one of a Feb. 20 doubleheader vs. Rend Lake College. Prior to his stint at Walters State, the right-hander
played a pair of seasons for Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA), totaling 9.0 innings across 8 relief appearances for the
Monarchs during his 2-year tenure there. A native of Williamsburg, VA, Rivera attended Lafayette High School.

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