Throughout the current offseason, we’ll be going over all 316 players to have appeared in Houston’s system through the 2022 baseball season.
This includes every player at any level, with no minimum. If a guy struck out once with the FCL Astros Blue squad in April then got released, he’s going to have a page here. In this, our 14th chapter, we’re looking at Amilcar Chirinos and Rainier Rivas.
Amilcar Chirinos is a six-foot-three, 200 lb. right-handed pitcher from Valencia, VZ. Born on November 7, 2001, he signed with Houston through free agency on July 20, 2021 while still in his teens. Assigned right away to the DSL Astros in the Caribbean-based rookie-league, Chirinos struck out 13 in 10 1⁄3 innings, and allowed three hits and three walks for a 0.581 WHIP in an unfortunately small sample size.
Although Chirinos was on the rookie-league active roster through the end of the season of play, he was shortly thereafter placed on the 60-day injured list with an undisclosed problem. He was taken off the list two months later.
Just prior to the 2022 minor league rookie-ball season commencement, The Astros moved Chirinos to the DSL Astros Orange squad. Chirinos duplicated his solid showing from the season past, striking out 46 and walking 12 in 31 1⁄3 innings. He gave up five runs on 23 hits, and although he uncorked five wild pitches, his 1.117 WHIP and 13.2 K/9 is plenty solid enough for a longer duration look at a higher level. Chirinos should start the 2023 season with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers.
Rainier Rivas is a six-foot-three, 220 lb. outfielder from Maracaibo, VZ. Born on June 29, 2001, Rivas signed his first professional deal just barely past his 16th birthday with the California Orange County Los Angeles Angels of Long Beach Anaheim.
Rivas, a left-handed hitter, spent parts of 2018 and 2019 in the Angel’s rookie-ball level before a trade made him a part of the Astros. To refresh your memory, we got him over here along with Rider Uceta for Max Stassi.
TOP 3: Rainier Rivas joins the home run parade! A to right makes it a five-run third inning!— Fayetteville Woodpeckers (@WoodpeckersNC) June 29, 2022
Woodpeckers 6 - Mudcats 0 pic.twitter.com/UU4Inr54ZF
In Houston’s system to close out 2019 with the FCL Astros, Rivas hit .351 in 10 games, going 13-for-37 with six RBI. Like the rest of minor league baseball, Rivas got an extended vacation through the 2020 non-campaign.
In a full season of work for the FCL Astros in 2021, Rivas hit .298/.361/.455 with a pair of homers and 22 RBI in 40 games. In a 10-game hitting streak from July 23 through August 11, Rivas went 19-for-39 with three walks and 13 RBI. Eight times through the season he put up multiple hits, including a pair of three-hit games. On August 5, he went three-for-five with a homer and four RBI.
Rivas appeared in 40 contests in 2022 with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, Houston’s Low-A affiliate in the Carolina League. Although he launched a career-high four home runs, his slash line regressed to .152/.199/.261 over 40 games. He struck out 52 times in 146 plate appearances, well over a third of the time, and only managed to draw seven walks. On August 8, the Astros released Rivas, and the big outfielder hasn’t signed elsewhere yet, but he’s still just 21-years-old.