After a standout career at Arizona that saw him hit .326 over three seasons, Alfonso Rivas landed with the Oakland A’s in the fourth round of this year’s draft. Rivas has continued to impress at the plate since signing with the A’s. Through 45 games with the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters, Rivas is batting .283 with a .392 OBP.
Donald Moore spoke with Rivas in July about his transition to professional baseball.
Donald Moore: How is everything going for so far this season?
Alfonso Rivas: It’s great you know. I’m having fun and meeting all these new guys from all over the world. It’s a pretty cool experience for my first year in pro ball and kind of looking forward to the rest of the season.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
AR: Get acclimated to the whole life of pro ball and keep having fun and meeting new people and treat it as just a game and not to be too hard on myself because I know I’m going to fail and just kind of keep my head up.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ball player?
AR: My humility I’d say because I won’t let my head get too big , because I know there is someone out there better than me that is working harder than me, so those thoughts kind of keep you on the humble side and in the long run, it will help me achieve my goals to get better.
DM: What would you’d like to improve on?
AR: Obviously there is all those baseball things, like being faster, arm strength, vision at the plate. Health-wise, I would say more flexibility in which would make me stay healthier in the long run.
DM: How do you feel you are acclimating to professional baseball?
AR: I’d say pretty good. I think college prepared me really well for it, like going to summer ball, doing those long bus rides, being away from home, all those things that college helps you prepare for playing professional baseball.
DM: What is the best thing about playing in the pro circuit?
AR: You have got no more school. No more worrying about returning an assignment in on time, but yet now, this is your focus 24/7.
DM: What do you find is the hardest thing about playing in the pros?
AR: You know it’s an everyday grind. We are on the field every single day and it does wear you out. We love it doing this and I couldn’t be more happy.
DM: Any pre game routine?
AR: Not yet you know. I’m still trying to figure that one out. It’s certainly a new transition but I’ll be better prepared for next season.
DM: Any hobbies?
AR: Movies. We are on the road for so long and you have to find something to do, so movies and listen to music.
DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
AR: The New York Yankees. My dad was a big Yankees fan, so I kind of followed that through him. They were the best team when I was growing up.
DM: Where are you originally from?
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about playing baseball, who would that be?
AR: I’d say my dad. He was the one that got me into it when I was very young and he has taught me since I was a little kid and my grandfather, who played professional baseball in Mexico, was also an influence on me as well.
DM: Craziest thing you have ever seen on a baseball diamond?
AR: I once saw someone get hit on the head with a bat.
DM: Any off season plans?
AR: Not yet. I’m kind of taking it a day at a time right now and see where this life takes me.
DM: I want to thank you for your time and the best of luck to you and your career.
AR: Thank you.
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