On the Whitecaps trip to Wisconsin last week, first baseman Rey Rivera broke out.
He hit four home runs in five games and had and OPS (On base plus Slugging) of 1.883.
"It felt really good," Rivera said. "It feels like I was playing 'The Show' video game, I was just doing those crazy stats."
"One of the things that got our attention is the adjustments," Whitecaps manager Brayan Pena said. "He went out there and he understood the way that they were pitching to him and we were very excited for him."
Rivera attended Chipola Junior College in Florida, as did former Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista.
Rey said he reached out to Joey Bats and spent some time during the year off learning how to hit with the six-time All-Star.
"Learning things that I didn't know of the swing and the way I thought things were, were not the way they actually were supposed to be," Rivera said. "Obviously if you see the swing now, it doesn't seem like there is much difference, but mentally the way I think and process my stuff is a completely different mental process than it was."
Rivera is from Puerto Rico and moved to Florida to play high school baseball but returned home for his senior year because he wanted to continue to be a two-way player (pitcher and position player).
While he is a position player only as a pro, Rey says he could still run it up there pretty good if needed.
"I don't know, I say maybe 88 to 90," Rivera said about hard he could throw now. "Not sure if I'd be able to hit it consistently but I would say if there was a bet right now I would say I could be on the mound and throw 90."
"88, 89, 90 for sure."
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