Athlete Of The Week: Roc Riggio

By: Brad Joyal

Topics: Cape Cod Baseball League , Athlete of the Week

CHATHAM – Not every ballplayer experiences immediate success upon joining a Cape Cod Baseball League team. In fact, most players struggle mightily for the first couple weeks of the summer and many never really find their stride.

After a slow start in which he collected just two hits in his first 37 at-bats, Chatham second baseman Roc Riggio has caught fire in recent weeks.

The Simi Valley, Calif. native and Oklahoma State infielder has hits in nine of his past 11 games and has gone 12 for 39 during that time.

“Every time you go to a new place it always takes a few at-bats and a few games to get settled in and get in your groove and get in your rhythm,” Riggio said Sunday after Chatham’s 9-8 win over Harwich at Veterans Field. “For me, it was just sticking with it and knowing who I am, how good I am, what I can do and not giving up.”

Riggio was especially productive last week, finishing 8 for 20 in Chatham’s most recent five games. He has nine RBIs and scored eight runs this summer.

“Isn’t he fun to watch?” Chatham manager Tom Holliday asked about Riggio. “He’s a guy that is a really good hitter and he’s a really good baseball player. He is going to be a guy that we’re going to be watching in the big leagues because he can swing the bat.

“He just needs a little more plate discipline. Every now and then he tries to do a little bit too much with bad pitches.”

As much as Riggio has enjoyed his recent success, he noted he’s been pleased to see his Anglers teammates also perform well in the batter’s box.

“I like watching the guys ahead of me do good and succeed,” the infielder said. “I like seeing the smiles on their faces when they get hits, that’s fun. If you can pull for each other and pull for your teammates you’ll play a lot better.”

Email Brad Joyal at Twitter: @BradJoyal