By Xavier Constantino
The season is nearing an end and some Riverside City College baseball players could be selected in the upcoming June Major League Baseball draft. RCC has a history of players making it past college ball. Here are some former Tigers that have made their way to the pros.
Starting with the most notable RCC alum in MLB is 2021 World Series Champion Jesse Chavez, a reliever for the Atlanta Braves. Chavez has already appeared in 15 games for the Braves and has been able to hold leads late in games for the club. Simply put, the 39-year-old reliever has been nothing but great for the Braves this season and is doing exactly what his team needs from him, shutting down opposing batters.
Now onto a recent alumni of the Tigers and fellow player within the Braves organization, Ignacio Alvarez, infielder for the Braves High A affiliate, Rome Braves. Alvarez has been fitting in quite well by putting up great numbers in his first season with the Braves as he is heading into May with a .307 batting average, .860 OPS, and a .500 On-Base percentage. He’s playing solid defense too, only earning one error in 186 innings while at shortstop.
Ranked as the organization’s 15th top prospect, the Braves believe in his abilities, with Alvarez already being invited to Spring Training prior to the professional season. It allows him to learn from veterans and coaches from the major league club.
Garrett Irvin, another alum from RCC, pitches for the Oakland A’s Single A affiliate, Stockton Ports. Through April, Irvin has pitched in six games with a total of 13 innings for the Ports while striking out 17 batters. Irvin has already continued to add more K’s in his most recent outing by throwing three no-hit innings with a couple of strikeouts, earning a win against the Fresno Grizzlies. This is Irvin’s second season in the pros and there is still room for improvement. Irvin is a left-handed pitcher which will help give him a chance to move up the minor leagues.
Although his strikeout rate may be impressive, he has struggled to keep batters out away and earned his fair share in runs earned against him. If Irvin can limit the hits, he may keep his spot on the Ports roster.
The 2023 RCC Tigers also have players that are more than capable of making it past the college level. The most likely options are sophomore outfielders Matthew Bardowell and Casey Murray Jr. Both have had stellar seasons and are leading the current team into an opportunity to defend its state championship.