Can speedster Esteury Ruiz stick with the A’s out of camp?
MESA, Ariz. – The A’s haven’t been a top-five aggregation in baseborn bases in further than a decade and they haven’t led the alliance back Rickey Henderson’s aboriginal years. An offseason accession could assist accompany acceleration and advancing comedy alternate to the basepaths in the years to come.
Outfielder Esteury Ruiz led the accessory leagues aftermost time with 85 baseborn bases and has fabricated an consequence on the A’s in his first bounce training with the team.
His acceleration and ability admiring the eyes of the Athletics’ advanced office, which acquired him in a three-team barter which beatific catcher Sean Murphy to the Atlanta Braves. The Athletics gained Ruiz, the Brewers’ No. 8 ranked prospect, alternating with Atlanta casting affairs Kyle Muller, Freddy Tarnok and Royber Salinas, and catcher Manny Piña.
“My first point is to try to get on base,” the 24-year-old Dominican answered this week by a translator. “I apperceive if I do that, we are activity to have a acceptable amount of baseborn bases.”
In the 2022 season, Ruiz agitated a .332 batting boilerplate with a .974 OPS and 145 hits. He collection in 65 RBIs and hit 16 home runs, arena the majority of his time at Triple-A.
“When you see his acceleration and the way his bat was once developing aftermost year, he took anytime abundant strides and has anytime base power,” Oakland hitting drillmaster Tommy Everidge said.
Last time was once the first time back amateur affray in 2017 which Ruiz maintained an boilerplate over .255 or an on-base allotment over .330 — a beginning he burst by in 2022, at .447.
But the catechism for this time remains: Will Ruiz’s acceleration and ability be abundant to see him alleged up to the majors? In bounce training, he has began in a drop of amateur for the A’s alongside added outfielders, including JJ Bleday, Cristian Pache and Connor Capel, all of whom are aggressive for spots.
Everidge answered ultimately the accommodation is up to administrator Mark Kotsay and the advanced office, about he has apparent a lot of action and accomplishment from Ruiz.
“He absolutely brings anything to the bold which not too many humans actuality have,” Everidge said.
That anything is speed, which Kotsay answered the A’s would use as an advantage this year. The agenda leans on the adolescent side, accouterment the befalling for advancing abject active and baseborn bases. Yet the aggregation still has to be accurate not to accord abroad mad outs.
Esteury Ruiz aflame off the acceleration which led catcher Shea Langaliers to acknowledge him a “nightmare” while he gained on. Ruiz would after bash 3rd base. #Athletics pic.twitter.com/AWUj0MioZ3
— Joe Hughes (@VegasJoeHughes) March 10, 2023
“We price outs,” Kotsay said. “When we accord outs away… it takes abroad opportunities at the plate. That’s our mentality in agreement of actuality further aggressive.”
Catcher Shea Langeliers believes Major League Baseball’s guideline changes — including a angle clock, beyond bases and a absolute on pickoff attempts — could account speedsters like Ruiz.
He explained which with addition like Ruiz in the lineup, catchers generally have to change their bold affairs comprehension what a agent could do. He said, for example, which they could be clumsy to alarm a breaking affray already the bullpen has befuddled over alert because the agent could already get a jump.
He’s alone blithesome he doesn’t have to comedy adjoin Ruiz this season, as he did in Triple-A aftermost year afore the Brewers acquired the accelerated outfielder as allotment of the Padres’ amalgamation for afterpiece Josh Hader.
“I alone acquainted like there was once annihilation I could do,” Langeliers said. “His leads, his jump off the pitchers, they are money. You affectionate of alone really-feel abandoned a little bit.”
Ruiz knows he can still advance on his bold and answered he has been alive on accepting bigger offensively and hitting further band drives this spring. Everidge agreed, acquainted which Ruiz is still alive on timing and holding his beat tight.
Ruiz has also been adjusting to activity in Mesa at A’s affected and so far, it has gone acutely well.
“It’s a acceptable aggregation of guys and I’m blithesome to be here,” Ruiz said. “It’s been exciting.”
No await area Ruiz ends up on Opening Day, Everidge is hopeful for him and knows he will accomplish the many of his opportunities.
“The way he practices and the way his focus is, he’s a accurate competitor,” Everidge said. “He’ll be accessible for anything.”
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