For catcher Dan Rizzie, a college junior drafted in the Mets’ 13 round, arriving at MCU Park with the Cyclones was a homecoming of sorts. Just two years ago in 2014, Xavier University clinched the Big East Tournament in Coney Island with Rizzie as the team’s freshman catcher.
“I was sitting right over there in the visitors’ dugout when we won it,” said Rizzie. When asked if there was any special celebration after the game Rizzie stated, “We had our traditional dog pile on the pitcher’s mound and then 27 of us jumped into the ocean. It was cold but surely worth it.”
Rizzie, the 22-year-old out of Orland Park, Illinois, brings an impressive resume after three years at Xavier, being named to the Collegiate Johnny Bench Catching Award list for three years in a row, as well as being named to the 2016 All Big East First Team throwing out 58 percent of the runners attempting to steal on him.
As a Cyclone, Rizzie is looking forward to improving his game and is willing to make a position move in order to keep in the lineup, something that minor leaguers commonly do at this level. “I’m looking to refine my skills here and getting to know the pitching staff,” he said. “For me, coming back to Brooklyn to play here is a dream come true.”