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Angels Prospect Preparing for Position Switch

The former outfielder is moving behind the plate — again.

Alberto Rios was a left fielder in college and a left fielder in 2023, his only season in the Angels' organization. So it might have come as a surprise to see Rios listed as a catcher for the Angels' Spring Breakout game Saturday.

Rios actually spent a little time behind the plate at Stanford. After appearing in only eight of a possible 121 games his first two years on the team, he was able to find more playing time in left field as a junior. That led to a breakout season that put him on the radar of major league scouts.

The Angels drafted Rios in the third round last year, and he finished the season with Class-A Inland Empire. He batted .181 in 33 games with the 66ers, exclusively playing left field and DH.

However, Angels farm director Joey Prebynski told Halos Today the organization expects to use Rios primarily behind the plate going forward.

"He’s going to spend a lot of time this year behind the plate. He has good hands. He's a good athlete, good instincts. The majority of his time will come behind the plate going forward. His aptitude, his instincts for the game are going to translate behind the plate."

— Angels director of player development Joey Prebynski

Although he played little over his first two years at Stanford, Prebynski said Rios got plenty of experience as a bullpen catcher for the Cardinal during that time.

Rios hit 18 home runs and drove in 73 runs while batting .384 and reaching base at a .485 clip in his final NCAA season.

Prebynski believes Rios has some upside as a hitter too.

"He has really good hands, bat to ball, gap to gap power, and a good feel for the zone."

— Angels director of player development Joey Prebynski

The Spring Breakout series pits teams of prospects on all 30 teams against each other in one game. The Angels' prospects are playing the Los Angeles Dodgers' Prospects on Saturday.