Saturday, March 19, 2005

Carlos Ruiz Report

Carlos Ruiz, C, Philadelphia Phillies
Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent, 1998, Panama
Bats R/Throws R
25 YO, 5'10", 185 lbs

A rare Panamanian prospect. Panama is a country into which I'd like to see an enterprizing team(s) invest more time and money. I think they might reap some surprising benefits.

Ruiz is a catcher who suddenly noticed that good things happen when you hit the ball over the fence. They give you more playing time, the fans cheer, and your teammates and coaches like you. Funny how that works...

2004 Reading: .284/.338/.484, 65 2B, 2 3B, 17 HR, 22 BB, 37 K, 8 SB, 4 CS, 349 AB
mL Career: .266/.313/.403, 75 2B, 14 3B, 35 HR, 82 BB, 134 K, 25 SB, 8 CS, 1519 AB

An .822 OPS from a catcher will raise some eyebrows, especially when it comes from a guy who has excellent defensive chops, which Ruiz has. I doubt he puts up those kinds of numbers in the big leagues, and it may have been a career year, but either way, he's put himself on the prospect radar and elevated himself from the ranks of Henry Blanco wannabe's to prospective replacement for Mike Lieberthal, who at 33, is on the tail end of a fine career. A recent comparable player might be Kevin Cash. The upside would be a Jason LaRue-type career.

ETA: Late 2005/Early 2006
2 1/2 Stars

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