Much Ado Over Matt Rizzotti

EDITOR'S NOTE: Prospect yummies. Front-paged. -FuquaManuel

Batting stats:

2009 A (Clearwater) (101 Games):.263/.351./.454 with a .185 ISO

2010 A (Clearwater) (31): .358/.426/.477 with a .119 ISO

2010 AA (77 Games): .357/.448./.628 with a .230 ISO

2010 AAA (17 Games): .200/.308./.267 with a .066 ISO

and the latest from the AFL courtesy of Phuture Phillies:

Matt Rizzotti continues to swing a very hot bat, going a combined 5-10 in games Monday and Tuesday, with 2 doubles and 4 RBI’s.  In 39 Fall League AB’s, Rizzotti is at .410/.531/.462 with 0 HR and 7 RBI. He has walked 10 times and struck out only 4 times.

With the past two seasons worth of data above posted for consideration, I just don't know how I feel about Rizzotti. On one hand, he strikes me as excellent trade bait with no clear position with Howard blocking him. He's Rule 5 eligible in the coming year, meaning he'll have to be put on the 40 man to be protected and thus burn a hole unless he actually has a role in the future. On the other hand, Joe Savery is something of a mystery. I doubt he will be picked up if unprotected this year, but he showed some great flashes of promise at the end of the year in Lehigh Valley. If he continues what he did, he may be able to become the new sacrificial lamb.

I've heard complaints about his power, but he put up a great ISO in Reading sandwiched between forgettable times in Clearwater and Lehigh Valley. It should be noted however, he was suffering from a hand injury in his short stint in AAA so that has to account for something, as well as his previous success in Clearwater in the power department. His power really is something of a mystery, but his ability to get on base is excellent and there's been power shown, but it remains to be seen if it can be consistent.

What I've heard about his fielding isn't great, and not having seen him personally I can't quite comment, if anyone else can in some depth it would be appreciated. Still, he could become the heir apparent in Left Field if he has another excellent year at the plate in the minors. After all, LF can be kind to poor defenders, e.g. Pat Burrell.With a plus defender in center (or at least the capability to still be so) and a prospective plus defender in right, he might be in good company enough to help hide shortcomings there. I take one look at that bat and think if this is a permanent thing, it very well may be worth it.

Which brings me to the next problem, Jon Singleton. Yes, he of the 20 feet tall persuasion who once threw a knife into Heaven and can kill with a state stare. Recently the organization has moved him to Left Field and seem pleased enough with the results to start him in Clearwater beginning next season. Even in his lust for carnal knowledge of bears, Singleton is very young at 19 so he still has all the time in the world in the minors and shouldn't be considered a clear and present danger to a prospective Rizzotti in LF ... yet.

There's a lot of question marks here, and looking on the rosy side there's a lot of potential here that looks like excellent cost-controlled talent waiting in the wings to relieve Ibanez in LF and help shed payroll as well as inject some youth into a team that is going to need it more and more as things move forward.The critical thing here is how he preforms in 2011, with another excellent year at the plate I think a lot of these questions resolve themselves.

Questions, thoughts, tar and feathering?

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