The Dodgers promoted top prospect Keibert Ruiz to Triple-A on Saturday. He made his AAA debut on Sunday and delivered immediate results.
With the trade deadline nearly a week away, the Dodgers picked an interesting to promote top prospect Keibert Ruiz. It remains to be seen if Ruiz’s promotion means that Will Smith is going to re-join the LA Dodgers or if this is a precursor to one of them being traded. For now, both Smith and Ruiz are on the OKC Dodgers active roster.
Keibert Ruiz turned twenty-one years old on Saturday, and on Sunday he made his Triple-A debut. Keibert did not disappoint as he went 2-4 with four RBI’s including a home run. He was then removed in the seventh inning for pinch-hitter Rocky Gale. He was not pulled from the game for trade-related reasons.
While Will Smith has already reached the majors this season, Keibert Ruiz is ranked higher on the Dodgers’ prospect pecking order. He is younger and not believed to be ready for the big leagues until 2020 at the earliest. He appears to be on the fast track after being promoted to AAA ahead of schedule.
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With the Tulsa Drillers in AA, Ruiz posted a .254/.329/.330 slash line which is not very impressive, but a move to the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League should help. The balls are believed to be juiced at the AAA level, much like they are in the major leagues which makes it less surprising that Keibert homered in his AAA debut.
One area that stood out offensively this season for Ruiz is his ability to put the bat on the ball. In 276 at-bats, he struck out just 21 times. Keibert drew more walks (28) than he had strikeouts which is always impressive no matter which level a player is at. It remains to be seen how the OKC Dodgers will split up playing time between Smith and Ruiz if both stay in AAA.
Even with Will Smith big-league ready, the Dodgers have not shown any interest in dealing away Keibert Ruiz this season. The Pirates are believed to be asking for two top-four prospects from the Dodgers in order to seriously consider trading Felipe Vazquez away.
The last full week before the trade deadline figures to be an interesting one, and if the Dodgers strike a deal for an elite reliever then it’s likely they will include one of Smith or Ruiz.