With the Los Angeles Dodgers back in Southern California for a three-game exhibition Freeway Series, they brought with them a handful of prospects upon breaking camp at Camelback Ranch. Included in the group is Edwin Rios, who shined in Cactus League play.
In 15 games he went 11-for-29 (.379 batting average), with a .419 on-base percentage and .793 slugging. Rios had three doubles, three home runs and seven RBI. Two of his homers cleared a batter’s eye — once at Camelback Ranch and three days later at Maryvale Baseball Park.
“Obviously, the makeup, the skill set on the offensive side, very good. The work ethic, great. Power is, I mean, he’s 70-75 power,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently said of Rios. “He’s really working on being mindful of being in the strike zone.”
Although Rios may be working toward remaining in the strike zone, it wasn’t yet paying off as he’s struck out 13 times against just one walk thus far.
Roberts also sees the potential for growth on the defensive side. “I think he’s adequate at first base and continues to get better at third. I think he’s fine in the corners in the outfield,” Roberts said.
“He’s up to the task of making himself a better player, making the Dodgers better, by being more than adequate at third base. He’s worked really hard. There’s a lot to like.”
While the 23-year-old has impressed at the plate, his future may not be with the Dodgers organization. They of course have Cody Bellinger entrenched at first base and boast an abundance of depth throughout the outfield.
Questions over Rios’ ability to play third base may prevent him from potentially emerging as an heir apparent to Justin Turner at third base. But none of that is a pressing matter for now, and Rios likely will return to Triple-A Oklahoma City for his first full season with the affiliate.
He spent 2017 with Double-A Tulsa (77 games) and OKC (51), batting a combined .309/.362/.533 with 34 doubles, 24 home runs and 91 RBI. But Rios also struck out a career-high 111 times, breaking his previous record by one, which was set the season prior.