Washington Nationals: Three Bold Predictions For 2022

DENVER, CO - JULY 11: Cade Cavalli #20 of National League Futures Team pitches against the American League Futures Team at Coors Field on July 11, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JULY 11: Cade Cavalli #20 of National League Futures Team pitches against the American League Futures Team at Coors Field on July 11, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 04: Keibert Ruiz #20 of the Washington Nationals runs the bases against the New York Mets during game one of a doubleheader at Nationals Park on September 04, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 04: Keibert Ruiz #20 of the Washington Nationals runs the bases against the New York Mets during game one of a doubleheader at Nationals Park on September 04, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Keibert Ruiz Makes The All-Star Team

Keibert Ruiz may not be eligible for NL Rookie of the Year voting, but he will make up for it by making the All-Star team in his first full season. The 11th prospect in baseball per Baseball America, Ruiz has all of the tools to become a cornerstone for Washington.

In their breakdown of Ruiz, Baseball America stated:

"A switch-hitter with plus contact skills from the left side, growing power, and improving defense behind the plate, Ruiz has the potential to be a foundational player in Washington’s rebuild."

He’s lauded for his ability to make contact, which was seen in a small sample size at the end of the 2021 season. In 23 games with the Nats, he slashed .284/.348/.395, while adding two homers, 14 RBIs, and an OPS of .743. Most impressively, he walked more (6) than he struck out (4).

With Buster Posey retiring, the path to making the NL All-Star team from the catcher position became much easier. J.T. Realmuto, Wilson Contreras, Will Smith, and Yadier Molina all stand in his way, but the 23-year old has skills to show the old guard he is the future of the position.

The Nationals offense has promise and with Ruiz hitting in either the fifth or sixth spot, he will have plenty of opportunities to produce with runners on. If he can pick up where he left off in 2021, Ruiz will be on the right path to make his All-Star debut.

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