The Los Angeles Dodgers farm system has consistently churned out quality big league talent in recent years, and next on the list could be Keibert Ruiz.
The Dodgers signed Ruiz out of Venezuela in 2014 and he quickly developed into one of the organization’s top prospects. While he has had some ups and downs in his time in the Minor Leagues, Ruiz was recognized as a top-10 catching prospect for the 2020 season by MLB Pipeline.
Ruiz came in at No. 7 on the list after splitting time between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2019. The No. 1 overall pick from the 2019 MLB Draft, Adley Rutschman of the Baltimore Orioles was ranked first by MLB Pipeline.
He was followed by Joey Bart (San Francisco Giants), Sean Murphy (Oakland Athletics), Luis Campusano (San Diego Padres), Francisco Alvarez (New York Mets) and Shea Langliers (Atlanta Braves).
Sam Huff (Texas Rangers), Daulton Varsho (Arizona Diamondbacks) and Miguel Amaya (Chicago Cubs) rounded out the top 10 behind Ruiz.
In 76 games for Tulsa last season, Ruiz hit .254/.329/.330 with nine doubles, four home runs, 33 runs scored and 25 RBI. He then was promoted to Oklahoma City, where he slashed .316/.350/.474 with a pair of home runs and nine RBI in nine games.
Ruiz’s time with Oklahoma City was cut short due to a broken finger. The 21-year-old is more known for his defense, which is why he’s so highly touted despite putting up mediocre offensive numbers in back-to-back seasons.
Fortunately for the Dodgers, they have the luxury of giving Ruiz as much time as he needs at the Minor League level for his bat to catch up to his glove. L.A. has another young, talented catcher in Will Smith, who had a breakout campaign in 2019 and will be the team’s everyday backstop this season.
The Dodgers have had dreams of pairing Smith and Ruiz behind the plate for a couple of years now, and that still is the ideal scenario in 2021 and beyond. While Ruiz will likely start this season with OKC, if he can get some things figured out offensively then it is not out of the question he reaches the big leagues as soon as 2020.
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