DISCLAIMER: There is not much to talk about the big club that hasn’t been hash and re-hashed until you needs some hash, so I’m going to dream about the future. This will prevent me from vomiting in my Wheaties.
I thought it might be fun for AC/DC and myself to compile a preliminary TOP 10 DODGER PROSPECTS so that we don’t have to think about the big club these next two days. I’ll go first, so that they can shoot me down.
Keibert Ruiz ended the regular minor league season with this slash line: .268/.328/.401, but what is most remarkable about that is that he played almost the entire season as a 19 year-old (he just turned 20 in July). In his 414 plate appearances, he only had one at-bat against a pitcher younger than him. It’s also remarkable that while he hit .267 and .304 in April and May, he slumped badly in June to .214 and July to .188. He evidently “fixed” whatever the problem(s) might have been and finished the regular season with a .341 BA in August and .600 in a limited September.
He is a switch hitter who is better from the Left Side (sound like anyone we know?). He only had 1 HR batting RH (92 PA) where he slashed .238/.304/.333. However, in 323 PA as a LHB he hit 11 HR with a slash line of .276/.334/.420. The resemblance to the Dodgers present catcher ends there however, as in his 415 PA, he only struck out 33 times! He also only walked 26 times, so you can see has great potential for growth. He may never be as effective as a RHB, but he’s certainly horrible either. There’s no need for him to abandon switch-hitting.
On the last game of the season, Ruiz hit 3rd and was 3-5 with 2 RBI. In the first game of the playoffs he was also hitting 3rd and was 3-4 with 3 RBI, but it wasn’t enough as Tulsa lost 5-4. At 6-0, 200 pounds, he has the frame to carry maybe 20 more pounds and the power is coming – 2 HR in 2016, 8 in 2017, 12 in 2018. I think he will be a 20+ HR hitter.
Compare him to J.T. Realmuto, who didn’t get to AA until he was 22 where he slashed .239/.310/.353. Realmuto got a call-up in September to Miami at age 23 and was the regular catcher there the next year. That is likely the track Kay-Bear is on. Look for a September 2019 call-up and for 2020 to be his Rookie Season. Of course, that is contingent upon health and his continued growth. He appears to have a very durable build could be a catcher for a long time for the Dodgers. He also has the skill to play another position, in my opinion and that might be helpful because a couple or three year behind him is Diego Cartaya, who was MLB’s Top-Rated International Prospect.
With the graduation of Alex Verdugo to MLB, I will certainly put Ruiz as my #1 Prospect. I can’t rank Cartaya in the Top 10 yet because he has not actually played yet. He will play next year as 17 year-old. I’m not going to go into detail, but rounding out my Top ten are:
Keibert Ruiz – C
Gavin Lux – 2B/SS (this was a close call as Gavin has progressed immensely this year)
Dennis Santana – RHP (his injury slowed his development, but there’s no denying his stuff)
Dustin May – RHP (he is very close to Santana – some may put him ahead)
Mitch White – RHP (he ended a disappointing season very strong – I still see him as a starter)
Tony Gonsolin – RHP (he is closer than you may think)
Michael Grove – RHP (He hasn’t pitched either due to TJ, but at age 22, he could be the closest of this group of RHP)
Will Smith – C/3B (he should have a long career as a solid backup catcher)
Cristian Santana – 3B (this is a stretch, because he has a lot of improvement to make, but his power is undeniable – think Edwin Encanacion)
DJ Peters – OF (same reason as Santana – think Jayson Werth)
Players who arguably could be Top 10: Not Yadier Alvarez or Jeren Kendall (who both need to go home and re-think their career paths).
- Marshall Kasowski
- Edwin Uceta
- Edwin Rios (will they lose him to Rule 5?)
- John Rooney
- Conner Wong
- While Ryu wasn’t perfect, he deserved a better fate – the 3rd 4th and 5th hitters each got a hit and the rest of the team did zilch.
- Lineup intelligence like productive outs and clutch hitting are oxymorons for the Dodgers.
in 2019 and