Dodger AA catchers rip through the Texas League
Will Smith got all the attention early in the week when he blasted his fourth home run in four games on Wednesday night
He’s done it again! Fourth game in a row Will Smith has homered! His 16th of the year, 5th in his last 6 games, and 9th in his last 14 games.
— Tulsa Drillers (@TulsaDrillers) July 12, 2018
and all of the sudden you could hear twitter whispers that maybe Will Smith was the better catching prospect over teen-ager Keibert Ruiz even though Will Smith was playing in the same league while being four years old than Ruiz. It was after all an amazing display of power from Will Smith and you could understand the short-sighted view given that Keibert had an OPS under .700.
Keibert decided to add his own power display and not only homered yesterday, he homered twice, and not only did he homer twice, the switch-hitter homered from each side of the plate. This performance got him a write up in the Baseball America daily prospect write-up:
Keibert Ruiz, C, Dodgers. Ruiz has not set the world on fire in the Texas League this season. But dig a little deeper and what’s he’s doing is still pretty remarkable. Ruiz went 3-for-4 with two home runs and a double yesterday, raising his slash line to .251/.315/.397. That obviously isn’t a great stat line, but he’s a 19-year-old switch-hitting catcher in Double-A who has made defensive improvements while striking out in less than eight percent of plate appearances.
“I just can’t say enough good things about him, with his maturity and how he’s developed as a hitter and just as a player,” Tulsa manager Scott Hennessey said. “The guy just has such great feel for the game and it’s so impressive to watch the things that he can do every night.
“At 19 years old, he could be a freshman in college … and this guy’s performing at the Double-A level like he’s a veteran. It’s really fun to watch.”
Keibert said this was the first time he had ever homered in the same game from both sides of the plate.
As far as Will Smith and Keibert having any problems as they share catching duties for the Tulsa Drillers while they both dream of being the Dodgers future starting catcher, this is what they had to say:
“They kind of feed off each other and they help each other so much,” Hennessey said. “They’re highly touted prospects, but they’re great teammates and they want each other to succeed. It’s just been really fun to watch them. It’s actually fun for the staff to watch these guys help each other and go about their business. Honestly, we just stay out of their way.”
The bottom line is that the deadly duo gives the Dodgers plenty of depth at the catching position. Could the Dodgers be thinking of moving Keibert Ruiz for some help this summer or winter? They recently signed another teen-age Venezuelan who was considered not only the top catcher in the International scene but one of the best players Diego Cartaya.