Matt Rizzotti seems to have been able to do just about anything since his promotion to Reading on May 13. Now, the New York native, who has had eight hits over his last 11 at-bats (3 games), has finally qualified for the league lead in batting average.
During his two plus months here in Baseballtown, Rizzotti has racked up numerous awards (Eastern League Player of the Week, Eastern League Player of the Month for June, Eastern
League All-Star, and Philadelphia Phillies Minor League Player of the
Month), and has become a staple in the Reading lineup each and everyday.
While it seems as if his numbers have been there since his first week in an R-Phils uniform, Rizzotti, 24, has not been among the league leaders due to not having enough plate appearances to qualify — until now.
On Sunday, the R-Phils and Akron Aeros game was suspended due to rain, so Rizzotti’s plate appearances didn’t count — yet. On Monday, much of the same, as the 265 pound slugger was in the middle of a great game (4-4), before a light malfunction suspended the contest after six innings.
On Tuesday, however, Rizzotti and the Reading Phillies were able to play baseball. The club completed their suspended game, and “Rizz” finished with a perfect 5-5 performance. In game two (Tuesday’s originally scheduled contest), he would need just four plate appearances to have his name amongst the Eastern League leaders.
In his first at-bat, he singled — in his second, he walked. Now, with just two plate appearances away from taking over the lead, Rizzotti would strikeout in the sixth, walk in the eighth, and although the R-Phils dropped Tuesday’s game 6-2, the Manhattan College product got the plate appearances he needed to qualify.
As of Wednesday, July 28 — Rizzotti is hitting .364 with 16 home runs and 58 RBIs in 68 games with the Reading Phillies. His .443 on-base percentage, .653 slugging percentage, and 1.096 OPS are also tops in the Eastern League.
Going forward, with just 40 games left in the 2010 season, Matt Rizzotti is on his way to shattering a Reading record. If the season were to end today, Rizzotti would be the new Reading Phillies All-Time leader in batting average, passing current leader Randy Ruiz, who hit a remarkable .349 in 2005.
What if he never played in Clearwater (A+), and started the 2010 season in Reading? Take away his 109 at-bats and 31 games with the Threshers, and who knows?
Oh, and in case you were wondering — “Rizz” hit .358 with one home run and 10 RBIs for Clearwater. Overall, he is a combined .362 with 17 home runs and 58 RBIs over 99 games between Cleawater and Reading — talk about impressive.
It has been one of those seasons for Rizzotti — a season you could only dream about. Day in and day out, he has not only been an impressive player to watch on the field, but one you cheer for.
Whether it has been his walk-off home run, his game-changing hits, his great personality, or the intensity in which he plays with, Matt Rizzotti has been a great guy to have around Baseballtown this season.
The 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game will be played tomorrow (Wednesday, July 14) in Harrisburg, PA, and the Reading Phillies will be well represented.
When the original rosters were announced, four R-Phils were selected to the team (MIchael Schwimer, Vance Worley, Tagg Bozied, and Matt Rizzotti). As things change, and players are promoted, or injured, the rosters began to change — by the day.
Not too much later, R-Phils SS Freddy Galvis was added to the roster, running the total of R-Phils players to five. Then, Michael Schwimer, who was enjoying an impressive 2010 in Baseballtown, was promoted to Lehigh Valley. Wth Schwimer off the roster, starter Drew Naylor was added to take his place.
Yesterday, Kevin Mahar was added to the roster for Brandon Laird, who was unable to participate. Now, seven R-Phils in all were selected, and six will go to represent their club. An impressive number of All-Stars!
Let’s take a look at your 2010 R-Phils All-Stars…
Vance Worley –
Worley, 22, makes the Eastern League All-Star team for the
second-straight season. The Sacramento, CA native is 8-4 with a 3.44
ERA over 18 starts this season. In the month of June, Worley went 2-2 with a 3.12 ERA (five starts). Originally selected by Philadelphia
in the third round of the 2008 draft, Worley is the reigning Eastern League Pitcher of the Week, after tossing a complete game, three-hit shutout on July 11..
Tagg Bozied —
Bozied, 30, is in his first season in the Philadelphia organization,
and has excelled at the plate this season for Reading. A native of
Sioux, Falls, SD, Bozied is currently hitting .293 with 13 home runs
and a team-high 55 RBIs. He, as well as Matt Rizzotti, will participate in the HR Derby.
Matt Rizzotti –
Rizzotti has enjoyed an impressive season in Baseballtown since his
promotion from Clearwater (A+) on May 13. The Floral Park, NY native is
hitting .355 with 12 home runs and 47 RBIs. This season, Rizzotti has already won such awards as — Eastern League Player of the Month (June), Eastern League Player of
the Week (for the week ending June 29), and Philadelphia
Phillies Minor League Player of the Month (May). Originally selected
by Philadelphia in the sixth round of the 2007 draft, Rizzotti, 24, is
hitting .379 with six home runs and 21 RBIs in the month of June.
Freddy Galvis –
A native of Punto Fijo, Venezuela, Galvis is hitting .221 with two home
runs and 30 RBIs over 89 games with the R-Phils this season. Originally
signed by Philadelphia as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2006,
Galvis has enjoyed a successful season at the plate, on the bases (eight stolen bases), as well as in the field for Reading this season.
He is ranked by Baseball America as the number 13 prospect in the
Philadelphia Phillies organization.
Drew Naylor –
A native of Brisbane, Australia, Naylor has posted an 8-6 mark with a
4.01 ERA over 17 games (16 starts) with the R-Phils this season. His
best game of the season came on May 25 at FirstEnergy Stadium. The 6’4″
Naylor threw a complete-game, three hitter, en-route to an impressive
6-0 victory over Portland. He allowed just one walk and fanned six
batters on the evening.
Kevin Mahar –
A product of Indiana University, Mahar has enjoyed a successful season
with the R-Phils in 2010. In his second-straight campaign in
Baseballtown, the 29-year-old is hitting .270 with eight home runs and
33 RBIs. The 6’5″ slugger has been red-hot in July – hitting .300 with
three home runs and ten RBIs.
Vance Worley is an All-Star in 2010 — the second straight season the 22-year-old will play in the Eastern League’s mid-summer classic. On Friday, July 9, Worley twirled his best game of the season in his last start before the All-Star game.
Worley tossed a complete game three-hit shutout, launched a mammoth
home run, and thered-hot Reading Phillies beat the Harrisburg Senators
2-0 in the opening game of their four-game set from FirstEnergy Stadium
in Reading on Friday evening.
The Sacramento, CA native fanned seven batters and did not allow a walk
over his masterful outing on Friday – leading the R-Phils to their
seventh-straight win of the season. Worley, 22, needed just 88 pitches
to toss his first complete game of the season.
Ranked as the 18th best prospect in the Philadelphia organization by
Baseball America, Worley has now won his last three starts, and has
gone 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA over that period. The Californian righty has
also fanned 18 batters over that three-game span (21 innings pitched).
Equally as impressive on the evening was the fact that Worley ripped a
solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning. His last home run
came back on April 17, 2009 against the Senators – his only home run of
2009. His homer was just the second run of the night for Reading — and
it was all they would need.