According to Las Mayores editor Francys Romero, the Cubs have signed 24-year-old infielder Alejandro Rivero following a stellar season with the Boise Hawks of the Pioneer League. Rivero left Cuba in 2015 and played at Broward College before spending three years at NAIA St. Thomas University in Miami. The undrafted free agent then joined the former Cubs affiliate for the remainder of their season this summer.
Source: Cuban INF Alejandro Rivero (24) signed with the Chicago Cubs as an undrafted free agent a few minutes ago. Rivero had 3 seasons in Baseball College with @StThomasUniv and destroyed the Pioneer League with @BoiseHawks in 2021 with .352, 20 HR, 70 RBI. He left Cuba in 2015. pic.twitter.com/u3QDTKxHXq
— Francys Romero (@francysromeroFR) October 21, 2021
The STU site hasn’t been maintained very well when it comes to career statistics, listing only Rivero’s 2019 junior season there, but he batted .306 with 15 homers during that first year. He returned for two senior seasons due to the pandemic, hitting just two homers in the shortened 2020 season and batting .376 with 11 homers and 53 RBI in 2021.
His original bio lists him at 6-foot even, but he’s now shown at a very solid 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds. Rivero clearly has some pop, hitting 20 homers and 21 doubles in just 57 games for Boise, and his stats indicate a hitter who makes a lot of contact despite not being particularly choosy at the plate. His 12.6 at-bats per homer topped the Pioneer League and he struck out only 38 times (13.8%), but he walked just 14 times (5.1%).
Rivero started out as a shortstop at STU, then moved to third before being listed simply as an infielder this past season. That positional flexibility is a plus, as is what appears to be a good mix of power and contact. The Cubs have not done a very good job of balancing their roster in that regard over the last few seasons, so it’s easy to understand why they might target a hitter with this makeup.
I obviously know very little about this guy and am merely scouting the box score here, but it sure seems like there’s some promise if he can continue to develop.