Los Angeles Dodgers Minor League catcher Keibert Ruiz was named to the 2018 Arizona Fall League Top Prospects team. Ruiz and 21 others were selected by Fall League managers and coaches.
Ruiz was one of eight Dodgers prospects to play for the Glendale Desert Dogs in the AFL, joining pitchers Ben Holmes, Nolan Long, Andre Scrubb and Jordan Sheffield, shortstop Errol Robinson, outfielder Cody Thomas and infielder Jared Walker.
While Ruiz appeared in only 13 games, he still sported a solid .286 batting average to go along with six RBI. He also drew more walks (six) than total strikeouts (two) over 56 plate appearances.
Ruiz was one of two Dodgers representatives to play in the 2018 Fall Stars Game (Sheffield). The 20-year-old drew a start behind the plate and went 1-for-1 with an RBI single and walk.
Prior to his stint in the AFL, Ruiz had spent the entire 2018 season with Double-A Tulsa, which marked his first experience above the High-A level. Appearing in 101 games for the Drillers, he hit .268/.328/.401 with 14 doubles, 12 home runs and 47 RBI.
Ruiz was added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster in November to gain protection from potentially being selected in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft. The top prospect isn’t expected to make his MLB debut in 2019 but could potentially find playing time in 2020.
With this in mind, Los Angeles is targeting stopgap catching options for the 2019 season as a way to help bridge the gap to Ruiz for the following year.
The Dodgers have understandably been reluctant to trade Ruiz, though a recent report indicated that the club may be open to including him in a deal for Miami Marlins All-Star J.T. Realmuto.