Ranked by MLB Pipeline as the 19th prospect in baseball, Keibert Ruiz was the top prospect Washington acquired from the Dodgers during their firesale. Known for his advanced hit tool, Ruiz projects to be a phenomenal two-way catcher thanks to his framing skills.
After starting slow with the Nationals Triple-A affiliate, the 23-year-old has turned a corner and has put the rest of the Minor Leagues on notice. In 19 games with his new team, he is hitting .324, with five homers, 14 RBIs, and an OPS of .983. Recently, Ruiz has started to develop some power, hitting 21 homers this year. Over the last four games, he has four homers, which came over a two-game span.
Most notably, Ruiz has an exceptional feel for the strike zone, posting a 10.6% K rate in 311 plate appearances, good for 7th in the Minors (minimum 250 plate appearances).
The only problem is that while Ruiz is seen as the franchise’s future behind the plate, both Riley Adams (.250/.338/.426) and Tres Barrera (.270/.369/.393) have been excellent for the Nationals. The duo has been two of the team’s more consistent hitters and neither has given a reason for why they should be benched.
On the other hand, Ruiz has showcased he has nothing left to prove at the Minors and needs to start receiving as many reps as possible.