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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kevin Riggs, Not Work - 3231

Kevin Riggs knew he could hit in the majors, team brass even told him so, he told The Hartford Courant in 1994. What he needed to do was work on his defense.

Riggs was in his fifth professional season that year, his first at AA. He was also coming off a season where he hit .347 at high-A - and he saw the majors as not so far away anymore, according to The Courant.

"It's much more realistic," Riggs told The Courant. "I want to finish up strong here and prove I can play at this level, then try to get on a 40-man roster. If not with the Brewers, then with someone else. I think I've opened up some eyes and I can feel myself getting close."

While Riggs seemed close at AA, he wouldn't get any closer. He played that season at AA, and the next three. But he never made the majors.

Riggs has since started a new career as a hitting coach and manager in the minors. It's that career, Riggs told a paper years later that he feels he was born to do.

Riggs' pro career began in 1990, taken by the Reds in the 28th round out of East Carolina University.

With the Reds, Riggs played his first season at rookie Billings, hitting .318. He moved to single-A Cedar Rapids in 1991, then returned there for 1992. He hit .268 his first season there and .289 his second.

For 1993, Riggs signed on with the Brewers. Sent to high-A Stockton, by the end of May he was hitting .377. By the end of the year, he'd held his average at .347.

"I'm trying not to listen to anything," Riggs told The Courant that May. "I'm just working hard and trying to be consistent. It was a very difficult decision, but looking back it's worked out."

For 1994, Riggs moved to AA Stockton, hitting .296 over 66 games. For 1995, he signed on with the Yankees, hitting .330 over 57 games before a season-ending injury.

Riggs came back from that injury to play two more seasons in the minors, but he never made it above AA. He also played a season in Taiwan before finally ending his career.

Then, in 2008, the Rockies called. Riggs had been looking to get back into the game and he didn't hesitate to take their offer, hitting coach at rookie Casper, according to The Casper Star-Tribune. Riggs is now a minor league manager, after five seasons as a hitting coach. He's managing for 2013 at AA Tulsa.

"To me, this isn't work," Riggs told The Star-Tribune in 2008. "This is something I want to do and it's something I think I was put on this earth to do. I've got a lot of stuff I can relay to these guys, and if they just take a little bit of what I give them, I know I'm going to set them in the right direction."
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,128
Made the Majors: 662 - 58.7%
Never Made Majors: 466-41.3%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 287
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 172

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