Keibert Ruiz

Keibert Ruiz

24-Year-Old CatcherC
Washington Nationals
2023 Fantasy Outlook
The key piece in the return for Trea Turner and Max Scherzer, Ruiz did not take off in the way the Nationals were surely hoping for, but it's important to remember that not all growth is linear. Ruiz displayed advanced contact skills at age 23/24, striking out at just an 11.5% clip. He hit for a .251 average which is respectable enough though his Statcast xBA was all the way up at .277, ranking in the top 10% of the league. The thump was lacking, with Ruiz's hard-hit and barrel rates leaving a lot to be desired, but the extra-base pop is in there as evidenced by his 24 homers across three levels in 2021. The bat-to-ball skills give him a great foundation to build on and Ruiz can run a little bit, bringing an element that is rare for the catcher position. There is some sneaky upside here as the playing time is locked in. Ruiz ended the year on the injured list with a testicular contusion but there has been nothing to suggest his offseason routine will be affected. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#175
ADP
$Traded to the Nationals in July of 2021.
Likely done for season
CWashington Nationals
Groin
September 9, 2022
Ruiz (groin), who was placed on the 10-day injured list Friday, will be shut down for the next three weeks and is unlikely to return this season, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Ruiz landed on the shelf earlier Friday with a testicular contusion after being struck by a foul ball, and it appears the injury will bring a premature end to his 2022 campaign. The 24-year-old ranks second in the league in games caught (106) this season and has a .251/.313/.360 slash line with seven home runs, 36 RBI and six stolen bases in 433 plate appearances. Ruiz could technically return during the final week of the season, but there's no reason for the last-place Nationals to rush him back for only a couple games. Riley Adams and Tres Barrera should split time at catcher down the stretch for Washington.
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Batting Stats
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2022
2021
2020
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
9
1
28
28
9
4
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
2
1
11
5
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+14%
OPS vs RHP
2022
 
 
+20%
OPS vs RHP
2021
 
 
+3%
OPS vs LHP
2020
 
 
-100%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020vs Left .623 136 9 0 13 2 .264 .326 .298
Since 2020vs Right .710 401 35 11 39 4 .252 .312 .398
2022vs Left .584 106 8 0 10 2 .237 .305 .280
2022vs Right .700 327 25 7 26 4 .256 .315 .385
2021vs Left .757 30 1 0 3 0 .357 .400 .357
2021vs Right .736 66 9 3 12 0 .233 .303 .433
2020vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Right .875 8 1 1 1 0 .250 .250 .625
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+14%
OPS on Road
2022
 
 
+6%
OPS on Road
2021
 
 
+47%
OPS on Road
2020
 
 
-100%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020Home .642 257 18 3 15 3 .263 .305 .338
Since 2020Away .733 280 26 8 37 3 .248 .325 .408
2022Home .652 212 14 3 13 3 .263 .303 .348
2022Away .694 221 19 4 23 3 .240 .321 .372
2021Home .597 45 4 0 2 0 .262 .311 .286
2021Away .875 51 6 3 13 0 .283 .353 .522
2020Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Away .875 8 1 1 1 0 .250 .250 .625
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Keibert Ruiz compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.60
 
BB Rate
6.9%
 
K Rate
11.5%
 
BABIP
.271
 
ISO
.109
 
AVG
.251
 
OBP
.313
 
SLG
.360
 
OPS
.673
 
wOBA
.301
 
Exit Velocity
88.0 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
27.7%
 
Barrels/PA
3.0%
 
Expected BA
.277
 
Expected SLG
.403
 
Sprint Speed
21.2 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
40.2%
 
Line Drive %
22.8%
 
Fly Ball %
37.0%
 
Prospect Rankings History
Advanced Batting Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
Catching prospects with great hit tools don't come around very often, but Ruiz fits the bill. He was the headliner of the trade that netted the Dodgers two months of Max Scherzer and a year-plus of Trea Turner. Ruiz slowly grew into more than just a contact hitter in the minors, but he'll likely always bit hit-over-power. The 23-year-old switch hitter slashed .310/.377/.616 with 21 home runs and a 33:30 K:BB in 316 plate appearances at Triple-A last year. It's a prime Jonathan Lucroy set of fantasy skills if all works out, and he is one of the few Nationals position players whose role is set for the foreseeable future.
Once tabbed as the Dodgers' catcher of the future, Ruiz has lost some of his prospect luster due to both a flatlining of his development and the growing backstop depth within the organization. While he batted a healthy .316 in his first stint at Triple-A in 2019, that came on the heels of a .254 average over a much larger sample size at Double-A during the same season, and he hit only six home runs in 314 at-bats between both levels. The cancellation of the 2020 minor-league campaign did Ruiz no favors, though he did get a brief callup to the majors, collecting a pair of hits -- including a home run -- in eight at-bats. Ruiz's contact skills (his career minor-league strikeout rate is less than 10%) could help him forge a career as a starting catcher with limited power, but with Will Smith behind the plate in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future, Ruiz may need to be traded to get that opportunity.
From 2015-17, Ruiz was an ascending prospect, at times being referred to as the best catching prospect in the game or a player who would soon earn that title. In 2018, he plateaued during his first season at Double-A, and last year his stock took a nose dive when he performed worse in a repeat of the Texas League. He eventually got the bump to Triple-A but then his season was cut short when he broke his pinky finger. Ruiz had more walks (30) than strikeouts (22) in this down year, but he had a poor 22.6 Hard% and hit just four home runs (.076 ISO) in 76 games at Double-A. He could still develop into a Wilson Ramos or Jonathan Lucroy type of catcher who doesn't need to hit 20 HR to be a top-10 fantasy option, but that would require a prominent role. Will Smith clearly looks like the long-term starter, and Connor Wong and Diego Cartaya also linger as intriguing long-term options at the position.
Not only was Ruiz the second-youngest player in the Texas League (behind Fernando Tatis Jr.), he was three years younger than the next youngest catcher at Double-A and was younger than all but one catcher at High-A. The rarity of a catcher spending his age-19/20 season at Double-A cannot be overstated. He still managed to be a league average hitter and ranked fourth in the league in BB/K (0.79), so while his slash line and .133 ISO do not stand out, the fact he will open the year at Triple-A and is almost 20 months younger than 2018 No. 2 overall pick Joey Bart should excite his dynasty-league managers. Ruiz is not without offensive upside -- he uses the whole field and rarely strikes out, so he could hit for a very high average, especially relative to other catchers. He is a career .309 hitter in the minors, even after hitting .268 last year. Ruiz won’t be a big power threat, but should hit double-digit home runs over a full season. He should stick at catcher.
Ruiz continues to defy the typical developmental curve for catchers. He hit for absurdly high batting averages in rookie ball, which can happen for any young hitter in a small sample in advantageous conditions. However, even those most optimistic about Ruiz's bat couldn't have foreseen him being 27 percent better than league average as an 18-year-old in the Midwest League and 19 percent better than league average as a 19-year-old in the California League. He has never hit worse than .315 stateside and his 14.4 percent strikeout rate in the Cal League was the worst mark of his career. The switch hitter also started tapping into some power (.181 ISO at High-A). Catching prospects who hit this much this early typically come with the caveat that they probably won't stick behind the plate, but Ruiz also grades out well as a receiver. He won't turn 20 until after the All-Star break, at which point he will likely be at Double-A, having cemented his status as the best catching prospect in the game.
Not only did Ruiz rake as the youngest player in the Pioneer League, but he has the defensive chops to stick behind the plate. He has hit .300 or better at every stop as a professional, and his 11.2 percent strikeout rate with Ogden actually established a career high. Elite contact skills from both sides of the plate currently highlight the offensive profile, but as he adds strength to his 6-foot, 165-pound frame, his doubles power should start to translate into at least fringe-average game power. Ruiz will head to the Midwest League this season and won't turn 19 until July 20, so it should not be alarming if he struggles to replicate his offensive success, at least initially. Of course, if he continues to hit in a more neutral hitting environment as one of the youngest players in the league, he will quickly be seen as one of the best catching prospects in the game.
More Fantasy News
Lands on injured list
CWashington Nationals
Groin
September 9, 2022
Ruiz was placed on the 10-day injured list Friday with a testicular contusion, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Sent to hospital after early exit
CWashington Nationals
Groin
September 8, 2022
Ruiz was sent to the hospital due to swollen testicles after leaving Thursday's game against the Cardinals in the bottom of the sixth inning, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Gets Wednesday off
CWashington Nationals
September 7, 2022
Ruiz is out of the lineup for Wednesday's game agains the Cardinals.
ANALYSIS
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Three-hit day Sunday
CWashington Nationals
September 4, 2022
Ruiz went 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored in Sunday's victory over the Mets.
ANALYSIS
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Resting Thursday
CWashington Nationals
September 1, 2022
Ruiz is out of the lineup for Thursday's game against the Athletics.
ANALYSIS
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