With the 192nd pick of the 2017 MLB Draft, the Cleveland Indians selected Florida catcher Mike Rivera.
The junior became the second Gator of the day to be drafted - Dalton Guthrie was selected earlier in the sixth by the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s the third Gator overall to go, as Alex Faedo found himself a home with the Detroit Tigers in yesterday’s first round.
Rivera has a .241 average this season with a pair of home runs and 24 RBIs. Nine of his 32 hits this year have been extra-base hits. Over his Florida career, Rivera has 14 home runs, 119 RBIs, and a .254 batting average. Nine of those homers came during Rivera’s sophomore season, when ranked second in home runs for the Gators.
But where Rivera shines is behind the plate and he has proven himself to be a capable and defensive-minded catcher in his three seasons with the Gators. Rivera has also been referred to by Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan as the “heart and soul” of the team.
Rivera missed the final six weeks of the Gators’ 2017 regular season (22 games) with a broken hamate bone in his right hand. The reliable junior has just one error in the field this year.
As a sophomore, Rivera was a Second Team All-SEC selection. He was also named to the SEC’s All-Freshman Team in his first year with the Gators. Following high school, Rivera was drafted in the 33rd round by the Oakland A’s.
The MLB Draft continues today through round ten, with rounds ten-and-up being selected tomorrow.