Dodgers honor Walker Buehler and Keibert Ruiz

Per the Dodger Press Release:



LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today named right-handed pitcher Walker Buehler as the Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year and catcher Keibert Ruiz as the Branch Rickey Minor League Player of the Year.

In 24 combined appearances (19 starts) this season with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City, Buehler has a 3-3 record with a 3.36 ERA (31 ER/ 83 IP) and one save, striking out a combined 117 batters against just 29 walks. Buehler started his season dominating the California League, posting a 1.10 ERA (2 ER/16.1 IP) in five starts, before his promotion to Tulsa on May 10.  

Buehler then made 11 starts for the Drillers, going 2-2 with a 3.49 ERA (19 ER/49.0 IP), a 1.12 WHIP and a .225 opponent’s batting average. He was named Texas League Pitcher of the Week after his start on June 30, in which he fired 5.1 scoreless innings while allowing just two hits and striking out seven against only one walk. Buehler was promoted to Oklahoma City on July 16 and made three starts – including his first Triple-A victory on July 31 (5.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 6 K) – before being moved to a relief role in August. Since moving to the ‘pen, Buehler has struck out 11 batters in 7.2 innings. Overall, he has limited the opposition to a .224 average with the OKC Dodgers.

The Dodgers originally selected the Lexington, Kentucky native with the 24th overall in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft.

Ruiz, who turned 19 on July 20, was signed out of Venezuela in July 2014 and after a stellar 2016 campaign for Rookie-level Ogden, combined to hit .329 with 56 runs, 22 doubles, two triples, eight home runs, and 49 RBI in 92 games for Single-A Great Lakes and Single-A Rancho Cucamonga this season.

Ruiz began 2017 by slashing .317/372/.423 in 63 games for Single-A Great Lakes and was promoted to Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on July 9. With the Quakes, Ruiz is batting .353 (41-for-116) with six homers, six doubles, 25 RBI and 22 runs scored in 29 games. In 192 career minor-league games, the switch-hitting catcher has slashed .337 /.379/.473 with 11 homers, 52 doubles and 116 RBI. 

Buehler and Ruiz will both be presented their respective awards and honored in a pregame ceremony at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 23 vs. San Francisco.

Branch Rickey Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year: 1989-2017

Year Player of the Year POS League Pitcher of the Year League
1989 Mike Huff OF AAA Jim Poole A
1990 Henry Rodriguez OF AA Jamie McAndrew A+/AA
1991 Eric Karros 1st AAA Pedro Martinez AA/AAA
1992 Mike Piazza C AA/AAA Todd Williams A+/AA
1993 Billy Ashley OF AAA Kip Gross AAA
1994 Billy Ashley OF AAA Greg Hansell AAA
1995 Adam Riggs Infielder A+ Gary Rath AA/AAA
1996 Paul Konerko Infielder AA/AAA Billy Neal A
1997 Paul Konerko Infielder AAA Dennys Reyes AA/AAA
1998 Angel Peña C AA Luke Prokopec A+/AA
1999 Chin-Feng Chen OF A+ Eric Gagné AA
2000 Joe Thurston 2B A+ Carlos Garcia A+
2001 Phil Hiatt Infielder AAA Ricardo Rodriguez A
2002 Joe Thurston 2B AAA Edwin Jackson
2003 Franklin Gutierrez OF A+/AA Greg Miller A+/AA
2004 Joel Guzman SS A+/AA Chad Billingsley A+/AA
2005 Andy LaRoche 3B A+/AA Chad Billingsley AA
2006 James Loney 1B AAA Mark Alexander AA/AAA
2007 Chin-lung Hu SS AA/AAA James McDonald A+/AA
2008 Ivan De Jesus SS AA James McDonald AA
2009 Dee Gordon SS A Scott Elbert AA/AAA
2010 Jerry Sands OF A/AA Rubby De La Rosa A/AA
2011 Scott Van Slyke OF AA Shawn Tolleson A/AA
2012 Joc Pederson OF A+ John Ely AAA
2013 Scott Schebler OF A+ Zach Lee AA
2014 Joc Pederson OF AAA Julio Urias A+
2014A Corey Seager SS A+/AA
2015 Alex Verdugo OF A/A+ Zach Lee AAA
2016 Edwin Rios 3B A/A+/AA Brock Stewart A+/AA/AAA
2017 Keibert Ruiz C A/A+ Walker Buehler A+/AA/AAA



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