One of the biggest reasons the Los Angeles Dodgers have won eight straight National League West titles has been their ability to consistently draft, sign and develop prospects into Major League stars.
In recent years, the strength of the Dodgers’ farm system has been the catching position. Not only is Will Smith already proving to be one of the best catchers in baseball, but he also has top prospects behind him in Keibert Ruiz and Diego Cartaya, as well as the recent international signing of Jesus Galiz.
Ruiz has been touted in the Dodgers’ farm system for multiple years, and some of his talent was on display last season. Ruiz made his MLB debut and went 2-for-8 with a home run while appearing in two games.
However, Ruiz’s prospect status has been in decline over the last couple of years as the organization waits for his bat to come around. Meanwhile, Cartaya’s stock continues to rise despite the 19-year-old not yet playing a game above rookie ball.
Because of that, the Dodgers are open to including Ruiz in a potential trade, according to Keith Law of The Athletic:
Cartaya might be a top-50 prospect if he’d had a summer of performance – and of scouts seeing him – but the Dodgers have seen him, and seem to like him enough that they’re willing to discuss Keibert Ruiz in just about every major trade proposal.
This doesn’t come as a huge surprise considering Smith figures to be the Dodgers’ everyday catcher moving forward, and Austin Barnes is also under club control for two more seasons. That doesn’t leave room for much playing time for Ruiz, who is on the cusp of being Major League ready at 22 years of age.
The Dodgers have typically held onto their top prospects in the past, so if they were to trade Ruiz, it presumably would be for a significant need. At present time that would be third base, as Justin Turner remains a free agent.
Ruiz among three Dodgers prospects in Baseball America’s top 100 list
Ruiz was recently included in Baseball America’s top 100 prospects for the 2021 season.
He was the organization’s top-rated prospect at No. 53, followed by Josiah Gray at No. 68 and Michael Busch at No. 87. If Cartaya is able to have a strong 2021 season then it would not be surprising to see him crack the list a year from now.
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