As noted, with only outfielders, catchers and starting pitchers in the Dodgers top 10, one has to emerge from the pack. Although Will Smith had a phenomenal few weeks in the AZL, I think Keibert Ruiz will be the biggest part of the Dodgers future.
Ruiz can hit beyond his years, and even if catching isn’t his spot forever, the Dodgers feel like he’ll be a special hitter at the top level. He’s only 19, won’t be 20 until the middle of July, and will be playing in his third season in the states.
After arriving from the Venezuela in 2015, Ruiz has hit a combined .330 across three levels. The power is still coming around, but he’s a teenager, it takes time. He keeps his strikeouts fairly low but his hitting overall tailed off towards the end of this season, another sign of youth.
As a switch-hitting catcher who, according to scouting reports from Baseball Prospectus, is already well adept at framing pitches, he sounds like another catcher already playing at the big league level.
It’s hard to imagine Yasmani Grandal being around in a few years, and with Austin Barnes ability to move around, there is certainly room for another catcher to rise. Ruiz needs to improvement on the defense side but should be able to clean everything up by the time he’ll be called upon by the grande leagues.
Expect Ruiz earlier than most of his age playing his position, early as 2019.