Keibert Ruiz
20-Year-Old CatcherC
Los Angeles Dodgers AAA
2019 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a minor-league contract with the Dodgers in January of 2018.
Optioned to minors
CLos Angeles Dodgers  AAA
March 11, 2019
Ruiz was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Ruiz produced a solid .268/.328/.401 line at Double-A Tulsa last season. He'll now be one stop away from the big leagues, but Will Smith seems like the more likely Triple-A catcher to debut in 2019 if an injury should befall one of the big-league catchers.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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
Contract selected
CLos Angeles Dodgers  AAA
November 20, 2018
Ruiz's contract was purchased by the Dodgers on Tuesday, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.
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Produces fourth straight three-hit game
CLos Angeles Dodgers  AAA
September 7, 2018
Ruiz went 3-for-5 with a stolen base and an RBI in Double-A Tulsa's 6-0 win Thursday over Northwest Arkansas in Game 2 of their Texas League semifinals series.
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Adds two homers to ledger
CLos Angeles Dodgers  AAA
August 15, 2018
Ruiz went 2-for-5 with a pair of home runs and four RBI for Double-A Tulsa in its 10-6 loss to Corpus Christi on Tuesday.
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Belts three-run blast Tuesday
CLos Angeles Dodgers  AAA
May 16, 2018
Ruiz went 1-for-3 with a three-run home run and a walk Tuesday for Double-A Tulsa in its 8-7 win over Springfield.
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Hits first long balls in Texas League
CLos Angeles Dodgers  AAA
April 17, 2018
Ruiz went 2-for-5 with two home runs in Monday's game for Double-A Tulsa.
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