Florida baseball’s Josh Rivera looks for more consistency in 2022

·2 min read

Name: Josh Rivera

Number: 24

Position: Infield

Class: Freshman (second-year)

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 205 lbs

Hometown: Avon Park, Florida

High School: IMG Academy

Twitter: @joshrivera24

2021 statistics:

G

PA

R

H

HR

RBI

BB

K

BA

OBP

SLG

54

210

30

48

5

26

18

52

.253

.324

.389

Overview:

Rivera started his career at Avon Park High School before finishing up at the sports-specialized IMG Academy in Bradenton. The No. 53 overall player in the country, Rivera was a preseason First Team All-American going into his senior season. Drafted by the San Diego Padres out of high school in the 22nd round, he decided to sign with coach Kevin O’Sullivan and the Gators instead.

Rivera saw starting action in 16 games at shortstop as a true freshman in 2020 before the season was canceled due to COVID-19. He batted .298, finished tied for third on the team with 17 hits and hit two home runs.

The expectations were high for Rivera heading into his “COVID” freshman season in 2021, and though he started 52 of the 54 games he appeared in at shortstop and second base, he wasn’t as consistent at the plate as he was in 2020. His average dropped to .253, and he struck out 52 times on the season, third on the team behind Jud Fabian and Kirby McMullen.

He did have some positive moments, being named the SEC Co-Newcomer of the Week after stringing together five hits in an upset victory over Vanderbilt in a weekend series. He also went 4-of-5 in a run-rule win over Mississippi State in the SEC Tournament.

Though he wasn’t particularly consistent in 2021, Rivera will be one of the players the team relies on in 2022 after losing a good chunk of talent this offseason.

Video:

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