Get to know some of the newest D-backs

January 18th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Steve Gilbert’s D-backs Beat newsletter. Bill Ladson is pinch-hitting for Steve this week. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

César Geronimo, the D-backs’ vice president of Latin American scouting and player development, believes that outfielders Adriel Radney (’s No. 10 international prospect) and Belfi Rivera (No. 24) will have an impact in professional baseball. Arizona signed both on International Signing Day on Monday.

Geronimo said Radney’s approach in the batter’s box is advanced. He hits the ball all over the field and has a chance to develop into a right-handed power hitter. In fact, Geronimo predicts that Radney will bat in the middle of the lineup once he gets to the big leagues. Radney is currently a center fielder, but he could be at one of the corner spots by the time he reaches The Show. Radney will begin his professional career in the Dominican Summer League.       

“Everything he hits is in the gaps. He is only 16, 17 years old. So, by the time he is 20, 21, Radney will have some power,” Geronimo said.  “He reminds me a little bit of [Mariners outfielder] Julio Rodríguez. With hard work, Rodríguez managed to stay in center field. As a defender, Radney is not shy about playing center field. With the big field that we have at Chase Field, if Radney makes it to the big leagues, it’s going to be a hard time for him, because our center fielder has to be very fast and he has to gain some ground. We will send him to the Minors as a center fielder.”

As for Rivera, he has the classic profile of a center fielder. He runs well and can track the ball down with the best of them. Hitting-wise, Rivera has a good eye and takes a lot of pitches, but the D-backs would like him to be more aggressive at the plate. Rivera will join Radney in the DSL.    

“When he sees a strike, we want him to go after it and [hit the ball]. He sees a lot of strikes,” Geronimo said about Rivera. “Seeing a lot of pitches is a good thing. Most young hitters, they swing at the first pitch every time.” 

Under the radar: Geronimo said shortstop Alfredo Benzan is another player who could make it to the big leagues. Benzan’s athleticism is above average, and the team believes the switch-hitter will hit enough to last in professional baseball.

Benzan will start his pro career as a shortstop, but Geronimo wouldn’t be surprised if Benzan played another position.

“He’ll tell us if he should stay at shortstop or not. I can’t say he will play the outfield. If he goes there, he will hit well,” Geronimo said. “But I think he has a chance to stay in the dirt.”