Rene Rivera was the starting catcher during the last time the New York Mets were in the postseason, and in 2019 he found his way back to Flushing. While in Triple-A, the juiced baseball’s played an enormous in his inflated power numbers.
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) May 5, 2019
The Mets brought in Rivera on a minor league deal right near the end of the season and started the year with the Syracuse Mets. He put up prospect caliber numbers with a .254 average, 25 home runs, and 73 RBIs. This was coming from a guy who only had 41 home runs in his entire big league career.
Gold Glove Defense
Rivera’s calling has always been his top tier defense. He shined by throwing out 52 percent of baserunners in 58 attempts in Syracuse. Rivera only made one error in just under 700 innings played, which made it surprising that the Mets continued to keep him in the minors with Tomas Nido struggling.
Mickey Callaway explains the reason for starting Rene Rivera instead of Tomas Nido
"Rene and Noah have worked together in the past and had success" pic.twitter.com/mmISEzd6UB
— SNY (@SNYtv) September 2, 2019
Rivera is also the preferred catcher for Noah Syndergaard, along with many other members of the Mets pitching staff. Syndergaard’s struggles with Wilson Ramos was a big story through the end of the season, and Rivera was his catcher during the Wild Card game in 2016. At the end of that season, he moved into the primary catcher role.
Rivera received his chance to return to the Mets in late August and only played in nine games through the last part of the season. He hit .235 (4-for-17) and had a home run with three RBIs. Uncharacteristically, he did not throw out a single baserunner out of the seven who attempted to run on him. Most of it had to do with the fact the Mets pitchers do not hold runners on very well. This has made throwing out runners nearly impossible for all of the Mets catchers.
It will be interesting to see if the Mets choose to bring back Rivera as their backup catcher for next season. Robinson Chirinos is a reliable option, but the Mets would be able to save money to spend on their bullpen should they bring back Rivera. He already knows the staff well, and they love working with him.
Hitting for Average: C, About what you would expect from him.
Hitting for Power: D, Hard to judge with such a small sample size, but there has always been some pop in his bat.
Defense: C-, His defense is tainted due to the Mets’ inability to hold runners on, but still called a solid game.
Speed/Baserunning: N/A, even if he was not on base more, you will not catch him stealing bases
Intangibles: A, Veteran who knows the clubhouse well and jumped in immediately to work with all the pitchers
Overall: C-, I would like him to come back for next season. He is an excellent catcher.