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AngelsWin Today: Alberto Rios (Angels 2023 3rd Round Draft Pick) Exclusive Interview with AngelsWin.com

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By Taylor Blake Ward, AngelsWin.com Columnist

Angels third-round pick, Alberto Rios, chats with Taylor Blake Ward about what he learned while riding the bench his first two years at Stanford before becoming Pac-12 Player of the Year and a top draft prospect.

Rios spent his first two years at Stanford as a bullpen catcher who received eight total plate appearances as a pinch-hitter, reaching base once. His junior season, the Cardinal put him in their starting lineup and all he did was hit, and hit, and hit, to a point of outperforming his first-round teammate Tommy Troy and earn him Pac-12 Player of the Year honors. Rios sets up with a rhythmic hand load and great balance as he turns and extends. He has a compact cut from the right side with some quick explosion and a great ability to find the barrel letting his natural strength drive the ball to all fields. He has solid zone coverage and pitch recognition, which aids to his hitability where he rarely chases and has shown the ability to hit higher velocity and adjust to off-speed. With his solid pitch recognition, Rios is a disciplined hitter with zone awareness and should be able to keep his swing-and-miss in check consistently aiding to his hit tool which projects above-average. There is some thud in his compact six-foot, 203-pound frame and his natural strength with average-or-above bat speed has allowed him to frequently tap into his power which plays to all fields and easy projection to see 15-20 home runs annually. There is plenty of faith in Rios' ability to hit, but that same faith is not shared in the other facets of his game. Rios is a below-average runner who is more of a grinding baserunner and though he has some active feet in the outfield, his limited speed and fringy arm make him a below-average fielder in left field where he spent the majority of his time with Stanford in 2023. The Angels opted to take him away from the outfield and selected him as a third baseman -- where he played as a prep -- where his feet may play a bit better but still with a below-average projection (the Angels worked him out at second base during a private workout). Rios has spent some time catching and has some raw receiving skills that make him a fascinating development project behind the dish, though the Angels will hold out until at least Instructional League before putting him there, if they do. Rios has shown a strong arm in glimpses, but it is mostly graded as fringy or below while his throwing mechanics would need attention to stick at catcher with the modern game leaning to more base stealing. If Rios can catch, his profile could have a meteoric rise as an above-average hitting catcher, but the likelihood is that the Angels will need to focus one defensive home whether it be third base, second base, left field, or catching (likely in that order) to capitalize on a special bat that could play as an everyday regular.

Tim McIlvaine on Alberto Rios: “It’s a neat story with him. He was recruited by (Stanford). Got there and just really couldn’t get into the lineup. For him – he kept working hard, kept working at it. Something seemed to click for him in the fall and he really started swinging it well. Once they put him in there this spring, they couldn’t get him out of the lineup, and he ended up being Pac-12 Player of the Year. We followed him pretty closely. We have a guy that lives in Northern California, Scott Richardson, he’s around there a lot. He started calling me a little early on in the spring and was like, ‘Hey this guy, he didn’t really play, but he’s really good. He’s really swinging it well.' So, we kind of kept tabs on it and he didn’t stop and just got better seemingly every game this spring, so we ended up watching him a lot."

Alberto Rios 2023 NCAA Division-1 statistics: 293 PA, .384/.485/.707, 69 R, 18 HR, 73 RBI, 5 SB, 13.0 BB%, 14.3 K%

Check out our interview with Alberto Rios below. 

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  • Chuck changed the title to AngelsWin Today: Alberto Rios (Angels 2023 3rd Round Draft Pick) Exclusive Interview with AngelsWin.com

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