Keibert Ruiz
Keibert Ruiz
22-Year-Old CatcherC
Los Angeles Dodgers
2020 Fantasy Outlook
From 2015-17, Ruiz was an ascending prospect, at times being referred to as the best catching prospect in the game or a player who would soon earn that title. In 2018, he plateaued during his first season at Double-A, and last year his stock took a nose dive when he performed worse in a repeat of the Texas League. He eventually got the bump to Triple-A but then his season was cut short when he broke his pinky finger. Ruiz had more walks (30) than strikeouts (22) in this down year, but he had a poor 22.6 Hard% and hit just four home runs (.076 ISO) in 76 games at Double-A. He could still develop into a Wilson Ramos or Jonathan Lucroy type of catcher who doesn't need to hit 20 HR to be a top-10 fantasy option, but that would require a prominent role. Will Smith clearly looks like the long-term starter, and Connor Wong and Diego Cartaya also linger as intriguing long-term options at the position. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#598
ADP
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$Signed a minor-league contract with the Dodgers in January of 2018.
Not on Opening Day roster
CLos Angeles Dodgers  AAA
Undisclosed
July 23, 2020
Ruiz (undisclosed) did not make the Dodgers' 30-man roster.
ANALYSIS
Ruiz missed most of summer camp for an undisclosed reason and was never a serious candidate for a roster spot. He'll head to the team's alternate training site and serve as organizational depth this season.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
Not only was Ruiz the second-youngest player in the Texas League (behind Fernando Tatis Jr.), he was three years younger than the next youngest catcher at Double-A and was younger than all but one catcher at High-A. The rarity of a catcher spending his age-19/20 season at Double-A cannot be overstated. He still managed to be a league average hitter and ranked fourth in the league in BB/K (0.79), so while his slash line and .133 ISO do not stand out, the fact he will open the year at Triple-A and is almost 20 months younger than 2018 No. 2 overall pick Joey Bart should excite his dynasty-league managers. Ruiz is not without offensive upside -- he uses the whole field and rarely strikes out, so he could hit for a very high average, especially relative to other catchers. He is a career .309 hitter in the minors, even after hitting .268 last year. Ruiz won’t be a big power threat, but should hit double-digit home runs over a full season. He should stick at catcher.
Ruiz continues to defy the typical developmental curve for catchers. He hit for absurdly high batting averages in rookie ball, which can happen for any young hitter in a small sample in advantageous conditions. However, even those most optimistic about Ruiz's bat couldn't have foreseen him being 27 percent better than league average as an 18-year-old in the Midwest League and 19 percent better than league average as a 19-year-old in the California League. He has never hit worse than .315 stateside and his 14.4 percent strikeout rate in the Cal League was the worst mark of his career. The switch hitter also started tapping into some power (.181 ISO at High-A). Catching prospects who hit this much this early typically come with the caveat that they probably won't stick behind the plate, but Ruiz also grades out well as a receiver. He won't turn 20 until after the All-Star break, at which point he will likely be at Double-A, having cemented his status as the best catching prospect in the game.
Not only did Ruiz rake as the youngest player in the Pioneer League, but he has the defensive chops to stick behind the plate. He has hit .300 or better at every stop as a professional, and his 11.2 percent strikeout rate with Ogden actually established a career high. Elite contact skills from both sides of the plate currently highlight the offensive profile, but as he adds strength to his 6-foot, 165-pound frame, his doubles power should start to translate into at least fringe-average game power. Ruiz will head to the Midwest League this season and won't turn 19 until July 20, so it should not be alarming if he struggles to replicate his offensive success, at least initially. Of course, if he continues to hit in a more neutral hitting environment as one of the youngest players in the league, he will quickly be seen as one of the best catching prospects in the game.
More Fantasy News
Logs pinch-hit appearance
CLos Angeles Dodgers  AAA
Undisclosed
July 21, 2020
Ruiz (undisclosed) singled in his only at-bat in Monday's exhibition contest against Arizona.
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Reports to camp
CLos Angeles Dodgers  AAA
Undisclosed
July 17, 2020
Ruiz (undisclosed) reported to Dodgers camp Friday, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports.
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Moves to IL
CLos Angeles Dodgers  AAA
Undisclosed
July 16, 2020
Ruiz (undisclosed) was transferred to the 10-day injured list Thursday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
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Hitting in cage, not yet in camp
CLos Angeles Dodgers  AAA
Undisclosed
July 15, 2020
Ruiz (undisclosed) is the only member of the Dodgers' player pool yet to report to camp, but he hit in an indoor cage Tuesday, Michael J. Duarte of NBC LA reports.
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Yet to join team
CLos Angeles Dodgers  AAA
Undisclosed
July 7, 2020
Manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday that Ruiz hasn't yet reported to camp, Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA.com reports.
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