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Monday, May 29, 2023

Nobody told this stolen base savant that it’s not 1980 anymore

Esteury Ruiz was one of five players acquired by the A’s in the three-team deal that sent catcher Sean Murphy to the Braves. Of the eight players involved in that blockbuster, the 24-year-old Ruiz, coming off a season in which he led all of Minor League Baseball with a combined 85 stolen bases in 114 games, was easily one of the most intriguing. And while he was initially lost in Murphy’s red-hot start, Ruiz has since carved out a niche for himself in his first full Major League season, currently leading baseball with 27 stolen bases through 55 games, which would put him on pace for … 79.5. Sounds promising.

While the number in and of itself is impressive, it’s the path he has taken to 27 that really stands out. Through his first 24 games, he had five stolen bases. By that point in his season, MLB-leader Ronald Acuña Jr. had 13. Ruiz, if he were to appear in all 162 games, was on pace to finish the season with 33.

You’ve probably already started doing the math. Across his last 30 games, he has 22 steals. Prorated over a 162-game season, that’d be 118—which, while not a realistic dream in this case, would be a single-season mark met or surpassed only twice in AL/NL history, first by Lou Brock (118 SB in 1974) and later by Henderson (130 in 1982.)


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 29, 2023 at 04:35 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: esteury ruiz

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: May 30, 2023 at 05:08 PM (#6130812)
Looks sort of Juan Pierre-ish. In seasons in which he hits 280-290, generating enough OBP, he's a reasonably valuable offensive player. Like some other speedsters, he might be ticketed for LF though. Depends who you believe -- DRS has him at a whopping -11 (late Griffey-esque) but statcast puts him at 0 which is not good for a CF (29th) but is not panic time (about the same as Trout, a bit better than Straw and Robles). Pierre's career high was 68 and he was never dominant in success rate but that was in late Sillyball and without the big bases, pitch clock and limited throws to first.
   2. A triple short of the cycle Posted: May 30, 2023 at 07:20 PM (#6130828)
BBRef also has Laureano at +11 runs in right field. I have to think some of this is Ruiz deferring to Laureano on fly balls hit between them that either could catch.
   3. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 30, 2023 at 08:46 PM (#6130838)
Ruiz is tons of fun. He's short, a little weird looking, and very fast. He doesn't hit well enough to be a star, but I'm glad he's around.

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