As New Jersey was digging out of the snow and ice this winter, Major League Baseball was gearing up for spring training on the ball fields in Florida. Ramapo alumna Alexandria Rigoli ’17, who is in her fourth year with the Miami Marlins, is thrilled to get going in 2021, especially after last year’s pandemic-shortened – and chaotic – season.
Rigoli who prefers to be called “Alex,” was hired by the Marlins in November 2017 in an entry level scouting position, eventually being named Professional Scouting Analyst. Her role involved analyzing player scouting data from the minor league affiliates and other baseball organizations, and creating reports for the “decision makers” of the team.
“It was a lot of paperwork but it was important information for the coaches about players who might be big league prospects,” Rigoli said. This past fall, she was promoted to Professional Scouting Manager and works in the Marlins’ offices in Jupiter, Florida.
“With my responsibilities expanding, the title change better encompasses my overall role for the organization. I still get to work closely with our Professional Scouting Director, our Professional Scouting Staff, and our Analytics Department,” she said.
“My experience at Ramapo shaped how I connect all the dots in the work I am doing.”
Alex Rigoli ’17
Baseball ‘in her blood’
Rigoli grew up in Parsippany, N.J., wearing a softball mitt for as long as she can remember. She played club travel ball every weekend, beginning at age 12. She then played all through high school – as a shortstop and catcher – before coming to Ramapo College, where she earned a spot on both the softball team and the women’s basketball squad. But, she said, baseball is in her blood. She grew up with two brothers who played baseball, and her father, Joe, was a college standout who went on to play professionally with the Oakland A’s organization. He has been a pro scout for the St. Louis Cardinals for more than 35 years.
“When I was a kid, we took family vacations to Massachusetts where my dad would check out games in the Cape Cod League,” Rigoli said. “He would take me along for ‘daddy-daughter days.’ We’d watch players and take notes, then talk about what we observed. I loved it.”
But in addition to baseball, Rigoli said she loved working with numbers, and chose to double major in mathematics and accounting at Ramapo, excelling in both. “Baseball is a business, so understanding numbers and statistics proved very helpful for me in this job. My experience at Ramapo shaped how I connect all the dots in the work I am doing.”
Tough going in 2020
Baseball was one of the professional sports impacted by Covid-19 in 2020. The Marlins got off to a particularly rocky and uncertain start, with numerous players testing positive, causing the team to postpone a number of games before the season even got underway.
“Yes, 2020 was a really challenging year for a lot of people. We were extremely happy to be able to get a season going. Getting the news about our players and staff was tough and concerning for a multitude of reasons,” Rigoli said. “Behind the scenes, there were a lot of creative discussions and a lot of digging into available players to figure out how we can form a team. We made quite a few transactions to get through it, and it was extremely encouraging to see how our team and organization handled the adversity.”
The Marlins handled it well indeed, finishing in second place in the National League East and making the playoffs.
“It was exhilarating for sure. Obviously with the tough start, making the playoffs felt even better,” Rigoli said. She added that she hopes 2021 will be different, with maybe even a championship. “Right now, everything is set to start on time and we are planning for that; we’re also staying flexible and will adjust as we need to. We have work to do, but we’ll see.”