Keibert Ruiz
(Carlos Osorio/Associated Press)

Noteworthy Prospects Scouting Report: Keibert Ruiz

The Los Angeles Dodgers have what’s called a “good problem”. Simply put, their team is stacked to the brim. Every position has a player or two who could be potential All-Stars. At third base, you have Justin Turner but you also have Edwin Rios, a young man with mythological power. At catcher, you have Will Smith, the young stud great on the field and at the plate. You also have Austin Barnes, who is a great defensive catcher and an average hitter. Next in line is Keibert Ruiz, who is itching to make the ballclub, and rightfully deserves it as he is the Dodger’s overall top prospect.

Statistics

The Dodgers signed Ruiz as an international free agent in 2014 out of Venezuela. Through five Minor League seasons, the catcher has compiled a solid batting average of .299 and a .351 on-base plus slugging. For a catcher, these numbers are astronomical. This was good enough for the Dodgers to call up the young catcher in 2020. In his first Major League at-bat versus the Angels, Ruiz parked one into the right-field bleachers. He only appeared in two games in the shortened season, but he looks to make an impression on Los Angeles this Spring Training.

Report

Scouts view Keibert Ruiz as an excellent contact hitter with a combination of bat control and plate discipline. As he’s come up through the Minor Leagues, he’s been able to cut down on the strikeouts and develop into an accomplished hitter. As a switch-hitter, he has much more power on the left side, hitting 28 of his 30 professional home runs from there. He is attempting to work on his power even more so, adding an adjustment to his lower half for contact quality. The power numbers could go up as he strides into Big League play. His defense behind the plate is solid but needs developing as he seems to have a slight inability to throw out runners behind the dish. He does however have decent arm strength as well as good framing skills.

Overall

As much as it hurts to say, Keibert may be a trade piece for the Dodgers. Los Angeles is eager to win it again, and unfortunately, they’re overhauled in the catching position. Ruiz deserves to be on a team where he could fulfill a potential starting role. Will Smith seems to be the starting catcher for Los Angeles and has already established himself in the Big Leagues. I also don’t see him being the second-string catcher if they decide to part ways with Austin Barnes. Look to hear about him in a deal at the trade deadline.

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