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Breakout Potential: Could The Dodgers’ Keibert Ruiz Emerge As An Elite Prospect?

The Dodgers have plenty of prospects that draw our attention, so it’s easy to overlook an 18-year old catcher who hasn’t played above Rookie Ball. However Keibert Ruiz, signed out of Venzuela, deserves our attention.

He got 222 AB last season, split between two levels of Rookie Ball, hitting .374 in the process. While maintaining that type of mark isn’t feasible, his ability to make consistent contact, at his age, is noteworthy:

  • Arizona League – 11.2%
  • Pioneer League – 10.3%

There is a question regarding his power and if he will develop any after hitting just 2 HR last season. He did add 22 doubles and 3 triples, and he obviously has plenty of time to continue developing physically (he’s listed at 6’0″ and 165 lbs.). Time will tell, but if he can continue to show his strong approach all he will need is to develop into a 10-14 HR type hitter. Especially as a switch-hitter, the value would be there.

MLB.com recently gave a good report on his approach and his power, indicating that there was the potential for him to reach that type of mark:

“Ruiz shows more pop from the left side and a more contact-oriented approach from the right side. He has precocious feel to hit and makes consistent contact rather than trying to do too much. As he gets stronger, he could develop double-digit home run power.”

He should get an opportunity thanks to his defense, which is said to be good already (outside of his arm). As per John Sickels:

“threw out just 20% of runners and arm is just so-so but defense is otherwise extremely good, very reliable and mobile, strong leadership ability”

Obviously he has plenty of time and the Dodgers will have to be patient. This season will be telling towards his development, but even a step back shouldn’t be a significant concern. Keep a close eye on him, as he has the potential to fly up prospect rankings with another strong campaign.

Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs, Minor League Ball

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Grading System:
Grade A – Elite Prospects (aka potential future perennial All-Stars)
Grade B – Above Average Prospects (aka above average Major Leaguers, could develop into a potential All-Star)
Grade C – Average Prospects (aka solid, though unspectacular)
Grade D – Nothing More Than Roster Filler
Grade F – Move On

Make sure to check out all of our 2017 Prospect Rankings:

AL EastAL CentralAL West
Baltimore OriolesChicago White SoxHouston Astros
Boston Red SoxCleveland IndiansLos Angeles Angels
New York YankeesDetroit TigersOakland A's
Tampa Bay RaysKansas City RoyalsSeattle Mariners
Toronto Blue JaysMinnesota TwinsTexas Rangers
NL EastNL CentralNL West
Atlanta BravesChicago CubsArizona Diamondbacks
Miami MarlinsCincinnati RedsColorado Rockies
New York MetsMilwaukee BrewersLos Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia PhilliesPittsburgh PiratesSan Diego Padres
Washington NationalsSt. Louis CardinalsSan Francisco Giants

Top 10 Prospects (2017): Cincinnati Reds: An Unimpressive System, Despite The Rebuild

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

For a team that is clearly rebuilding, the Reds’ system is not as impressive as you would hope. While there are some intriguing prospects near the top of the system, their trades of Aroldis Chapman and Todd Frazier (among others) have not stocked their minor league rosters with high-level prospects.  Who do they have that should intrigue us?  Who could soon make an impact?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Nick Senzel – Third Baseman
Grade – A-
ETA – 2018

He may have been the second overall selection, but currently Senzel is the best prospect of the class.  Seeing a lot of time at Single-A (210 AB) he hit .329 with 7 HR and 15 SB, showing even more power potential by adding 23 doubles and 3 triples (.567 SLG).  The stolen base total is deceiving, as he’s not likely going to be a big-time contributor (though he should be able to chip in 10+ per season), and he also saw his numbers buoyed by a bit of luck (.392 BABIP).  Those two things should not take away from the performance, especially as he showed a strong command of the strike zone: Read more

Is Rhys Hoskins The Phillies Future At First Base?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Phillies are clearly a team in transition and while Tommy Joseph is currently getting an opportunity at first base in the Majors it’s possible that he’s not really the answer. Down at Double-A they have a 23-year old slugger, Rhys Hoskins, who is slugging and grabbing attention (through Saturday):

335 AB, .287, 25 HR, 83 RBI, 64 R, 2 SB

Obviously the big tool is his power, which he showed promise with last season (36 doubles, 6 triples, 17 HR) across two levels of Single-A. This year, however, he’s fully seems to have tapped into it. According to MLB.com in regards to his power:

“A leg kick that he added to his right-handed swing helped him reach that power more consistently, and he continued to be a run-producer during his stint in the Australian Baseball League over the winter. His feel to hit should allow him to continue to produce as he reaches the upper levels.” Read more

Top 10 Second Base Prospects (Preseason 2016 Edition)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While second base doesn’t necessarily have the “gaudy” prospects as other spots, there is one truly elite name sitting atop the rankings and a few other intriguing ones behind him.  Who has the highest upside?  Who could emerge as stars?  Let’s take a look at how our rankings currently look:

1) Yoan Moncada – Boston Red Sox
#1 ranked prospect for Red Sox
Grade – A

One of the most hyped imports ever, it took Moncada a bit of time to adjust to the minor leagues. Once he did, though, he took it by storm. The 20-year old spent the season at Single-A (306 AB) hitting .278 with 8 HR, 38 RBI, 61 R and 49 SB. The switch hitter had 45 SB in his final 56 games and should also add power as he gets older and matures (as it is he had 19 doubles and 3 triples). A few other impressive tidbits: Read more

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: Are Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon & Jeff Driskel Viable NFL Prospects?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

On Saturday night Louisiana Tech defeated Arkansas State 47-28 in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. It was a game that was likely overlooked by most, but featured a pair of potential NFL Draft prospects (both of which played for Louisiana Tech). How high is the upside? Let’s take a look:

RB Kenneth Dixon
He had a monster game, showing off both his running and pass catching skills:

  • Rushing – 21 carries for 102 yards and 2 TD
  • Receiving – 6 receptions for 113 yards and 2 TD

He finishes his college career with 87 TD, leaving him as the FBS career leader with 87 TD (a title he could give up before long, as Navy’s Keenan Reynolds has one game remaining and could retake the lead). He’s posted 30+ receptions in back-to-back seasons while averaging 5.1 yards per carry or better in all four of his college seasons. Read more