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Phillies Prospect Matt Rizzotti Turning Heads at Double-A Reading

Matt Rizzotti is a nightmare for opposing pitchers at AA Reading (credit: Ralph Trout/Reading Phillies)

Matt Rizzotti is a nightmare for opposing pitchers at AA Reading (credit: Ralph Trout/Reading Phillies)

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READING, Pa. (CBS) - One of the best hitters in the Phillies minor league system this season is Double-AA 1B/DH Matt Rizzotti.

An imposing figure at 6’5″, Rizzotti is hitting a lusty .351 this season with 8 home runs and 30 RBI. In Sunday’s 3-2 loss to Richmond, it was Rizzotti who broke up a perfect game by the Flying Squirrels’ Clayton Tanner with a two-out single in the 7th inning.

Overall, Rizzotti says he feels good about how he is swinging the bat this season.

“I’m very happy. I think the whole big thing was just getting to a point where I feel comfortable, and I am starting to get there now.”

Listen to more of the conversation with Matt Rizzotti in the podcast below.

Reading manager Mark Parent says when it comes to his work at the plate, there isn’t much they tinker with with Rizzotti.

“We just more or less talk about counts, because he is not aggressive in counts that he is ahead like 0-0, 2-0, 3-1, those kind of things,” Parent said. “And we’ve seen a couple of times where he’s been successful being aggressive in those counts and hopefully it just keeps steamrolling along and he gets more aggressive in those counts. He’s the type of guy who likes to hit with two strikes, which is crazy for me, but Rizz is what Rizz is.”

And Rizzotti has hit everywhere since the Phillies drafted him in the 6th round of the 2007 draft out of Manhattan College. The 25-year-old also has been working hard on his defense, according to Parent.

“Any time we are home, he’s out taking a lot of ground balls, getting a lot of extra work.”

Rizzotti says he can feel his work with the glove improving.

“I think I’m getting around the ball a lot better, I use to just be the guy who would just plant his feet and hope that my hands work and I don’t have that great of hands, to be honest. It’s all in footwork. Bad footwork creates bad hops and I think that’s what was going on. I’m just moving my feet and getting down to it.”

As for dreaming about getting that call to the big leagues, Rizzotti says he has no timetable in his head, and is just worried about getting better.

“Whenever the phone rings, it rings. I have nothing. I’m just trying to go out there and play.”

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio

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