The Dodgers zeroed in on Ruiz's defensive ability when they signed him for $140,000 out of Venezuela in 2014, but his bat proved more advanced than expected and allowed him to progress rapidly through the system. He spent all of 2018 in Double-A at age 19, sharing time with Will Smith on a Texas League championship club. While Smith established himself as Los Angeles' starting catcher by the end of 2019, Ruiz returned to Double-A and posted the worst offensive numbers of his career.
Thanks to his feel for the barrel and disciplined approach, Ruiz excels at making contact from both sides of the plate. He shows much more pop as a lefty hitter, with just two of his 29 homers in his first five pro seasons coming as a righty. He has solid raw power but won't fully tap into it until he becomes more selective hunting pitches he can drive.
Ruiz has the tools to be at least a solid defender but has some lapses behind the plate. He's agile, possesses soft hands and frames the ball well, but his receiving can get lackadaisical. He can flash solid arm strength but his accuracy wavers at times, and he threw out just 23 percent of basestealers in his first three years of full-season ball.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 50 | Run: 40 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55
Ruiz earned a $140,000 bonus out of Venezuela in 2014 because of his defensive prowess, then delighted the Dodgers by batting .374/.412/.527 in his U.S. debut at age 17 two years later. He has blossomed into one of the game's best all-around catching prospects while getting promoted aggressively, spending 2018 as the second-youngest regular (age 19) in the Double-A Texas League. He shared time at Tulsa with Will Smith, another prime catching prospect who's four years older but doesn't have as much offensive upside.
A switch-hitter, Ruiz has been much more effective from the left side of the plate and only one of his 23 homers in his first four pro seasons came from the right side. The toughest batter to strike out in the Texas League last season (12.6 plate appearances per whiff), he excels at making contact thanks to his advanced feel for the barrel and disciplined approach. He has solid raw power and could hit 15-20 homers on an annual basis once he hunts more pitches to drive and hits more balls in the air.
Ruiz is quicker than most catchers and moves well behind the plate. He has soft hands and frames the ball well, though he has occasional lapses of consistency with his receiving. He has average to solid arm strength but threw out just 24 percent of basestealers in his first two years in full-season ball.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 40 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55
Known as an advanced defender when he signed for $140,000 out of Venezuela on his 16th birthday in 2014, Ruiz has exceeded offensive expectations. After batting .374/.412/.527 and forcing a promotion to Rookie-level Ogden in 2016, he continued to move quickly last season. He ranked third in hitting (.316) among Minor League catchers and earned another in-season promotion, moving to high Class A before he turned 19.
A switch-hitter, Ruiz has advanced feel for the barrel and a line-drive approach. He hits the ball with much more authority from the left side of the plate and slugged just .310 as a right-hander in 2017. Of his 11 homers in his first three pro seasons, six were in games in the final two months of last season, a sign that he's beginning to drive the ball more frequently and should develop at least double-digit home run power.
Ruiz runs better than most catchers and moves well behind the plate. He has soft hands and receives the ball better than most young backstops. He has average arm strength but needs to refine his transfer and footwork after throwing out just 22 percent of basestealers last year.