In the midst of a lost season for the Mets, an unlikely bright note has emerged -- T.J. Rivera. A red-hot July during which he has hit .394 with five extra-base hits over 37 plate appearances has pushed his OPS over .800 and he shows no signs of slowing down.
Despite going undrafted, Rivera has developed into a solid hitter and has the potential to be a valuable piece of the team going forward.
From the time he arrived in the Mets system, Rivera showed that he could hit. He never batted below .300 at any level and secured the 2016 Pacific Coast League batting title with a .353 average and a .909 OPS. He was never ranked as a top prospect, in part due to his relatively advanced age, but that performance earned him a well-deserved call-up to the big leagues last season, where he slashed .333/.345/.476 in 113 plate appearances.
There were few expectations of a repeat performance from Rivera going into 2017. His walk rate was under 3 percent, he didn't have much power and regression seemed inevitable from a 28-year-old entering his rookie year. Instead, he has been one of their best batters and may be hitting his way into a bigger role in 2018 and beyond.