The Dodgers continued to push Ruiz aggressively in 2018, assigning him to Double-A as a 19-year-old. He turned 20 midway through the season, playing into the fall with Glendale. A death in the family ended his AFL season early, but I got looks at Ruiz in October.
Built thick but flexible, his 6-foot and 200-pound frame is well-suited for catching. He is most polished defensively, setting low and quiet targets with soft hands receiving the ball. Advanced footwork and a quick release play up average raw arm-strength. A switch-hitter, Ruiz is more of a contact hitter and more of a threat from the left-hand side of the plate. He looked tired at the end of a long season, and while he never has shown tons of raw power, the strength of contact was lighter overall than my looks earlier in the season. Ruiz might never be a 20+ home run threat, but given his age, body type, and loose swing, there’s reason to project some power against righties.
The minor leagues are flush with catching prospects right now, and Ruiz is near the top of that list. The ceiling is an above-average backstop with 55-grade defensive tools and solid on-base ability for the position. His offensive is very oriented around contact and the hit tool, a profile that can regress under the physical rigors of catching. Even if Ruiz winds up closer to an average offensive producer for the position as the years go by, his instincts and defensive ability will make him a long-time big leaguer.