ESTEURY RUIZ
Nickname:   N/A Position:   OF
Home: N/A Team:   ATHLETICS
Height: 6' 0" Bats:   R
Weight: 170 Throws:   R
DOB: 2/15/1999 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 1  
Birth City: Azua, D.R.
Draft: 2015 - Royals - Free agent - Out of the D.R.
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
2016 DSL DSL-Royals   56 217 44 68 18 5 26 26 13 10 19 35 .378 .512 .313
2017 AZL AZL-Royals   21 86 22 36 10 6 3 23 9 0 4 20 .440 .779 .419
2017 AZL AZL-Padres   31 120 23 36 10 4 1 16 17 6 16 34 .364 .475 .300
2018 MWL FORT WAYNE   117 439 63 111 20 5 12 53 49 11 38 141 .324 .403 .253
2019 CAL LAKE ELSINORE   98 339 45 81 18 2 6 36 34 11 26 101 .300 .357 .239
2021 DAC SAN ANTONIO   84 309 52 77 16 2 10 42 36 7 28 73 .328 .411 .249
2022 IL NASHVILLE   37 146 30 48 10 0 3 19 25 5 14 29 .402 .459 .329
2022 PCL EL PASO   28 111 30 35 6 0 4 9 23 4 20 25 .457 .477 .315
2022 TL SAN ANTONIO   49 180 53 62 17 2 9 37 37 5 32 40 .474 .611 .344
2022 NL PADRES   14 27 1 6 1 1 0 2 1 2 0 5 .222 .333 .222
2022 NL BREWERS   3 8 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 .111 .000 .000
2023 PCL LAS VEGAS   5 20 4 8 1 1 1 2 3 0 1 5 .429 .700 .400
2023 AL ATHLETICS   132 449 47 114 24 1 5 47 67 13 20 99 .309 .345 .254
Personal
  • July 3, 2015: Ruiz signed with the Royals as a free agent, out of the Dominican Republic, via scout Edys de Oleo. The team got Esteury for $100,000, so he was a real bargain.

  • In 2017, Ruiz led the Arizona Fall League in hitting (.350), doubles (20) and triples (10) and was named MVP.

  • Esteury impresses scouts with the way he carries himself on the field.

    His wiry build belies is strong wrists and explosive hands.

    Ruiz physically resembles Alfonso Soriano with his crouched stance, long body and whippy swing, but he's not that level of player.

  • In 2018, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Ruiz as the 15th-best prospect in the Padres' organization. But he dropped to #26 in the spring of 2019.

    In 2023, Esteury was ranked 8th-best in the A's farm system.

  • 2021 Season:
    Stats: .249 avg., .328 OBP, .411 SLG, 10 HRs, 42 RBIs, 52 runs, 36 steals, 28 walks, 73 strikeouts (84 games, 353 plate appearances)

    Need to know: Acquired alongside LHPs Matt Strahm and Travis Wood for Brandon Maurer, Trevor Cahill and Ryan Buchter, Ruiz originally signed with the Royals for $100,000 out of the Dominican Republic as a second baseman. He hit .313/.378/.512 in the Dominican Summer League, .350/.395/.602 the following year in the rookie-level Arizona League.

    In 2018, he stole 49 bases in the low Single-A Midwest League (.728 OPS).

    An aggressive approach continued to hurt him as he jumped to the California League in 2019 (.657 OPS) and began to add outfield work to the resume. After losing 2020 to the pandemic, Ruiz worked exclusively in the outfield at Double-A San Antonio (32 starts in left, 26 in center and 20 in right).

    A plus runner, Ruiz shaved his strikeout rate from 26.6 percent in 2019 to 20.7 last year. He also missed roughly a month to a broken finger.  (J Sanders - Feb 16, 2022)

  •  MLB debut (July 12, 2022): The Padres called up Esteury Ruiz from Triple-A El Paso for his MLB debut. Ruiz hit eighth in the lineup as the starting centerfielder. He had two hits and one RBI in four at-bats. He also tried to steal third base but was caught.

  •  2022 Season: (AA/AAA) 541 PA, 16 HR, 85 SB, .332/.447/.526

     Ruiz had a season to remember in the minors. Neither the Padres nor Brewers gave him many opportunities in the Majors despite rostering him for a considerable chunk of the season. All told, he attempted 102 steals and succeeded 86 times (84.3%) over a total of 576 plate appearances. With new rules on the way, Ruiz could find himself among the stolen base leaders if he hits enough to merit a starting role.  (Brad Johnson | Dec 16, 2022)

  •  2023 Season: The results were a mixed bag, but we will start with the good. Ruiz led the American League with 67 stolen bases and finished just five steals behind Ronald Acuña Jr. despite missing almost a month with a shoulder injury. Ruiz was given the green light to run whenever and was only thrown out 13 times on the season.

    He suffered a shoulder injury while diving back into first base on a pickoff attempt in early July. That ended up costing him about a month and he lost some playing time down the stretch after Lawrence Butler was promoted to the active roster.

    What went right? What went wrong?

    Ruiz could be even more dangerous on the base paths if he could find his way on base even more and this is the biggest area of his game that needs to be improved. He posted just a .309 on-base percentage in 497 plate appearances which was further propped up by being hit by a pitch 16 times. Ruiz walked a total of six times over his final 47 games and had just a 4.0 percent walk-rate for the season. The on-base skills are important because his bat is lacking.

    Ruiz produced just an 86 wRC+ in those 497 plate appearances and his .290 wOBA actually out performed his .273 xwOBA. We did see Ruiz turn on some pitches at the end of the season, but overall, his 82.7 mph average exit velocity and 2.5 percent barrel rate are some of the lowest in the majors.

    In addition to his on-base skills, Ruiz needs to improve defensively where he wasn’t impressive despite his good speed. He was one of the worst outfielders in the majors in terms of Defensive Runs Saved finishing at -20. His UZR was at -10.3 although Baseball Savant’s Fielding Run Value was a little more bullish at just -2. Ruiz’s arm probably isn’t going to get any better, but it is reasonable to think that his outfield routes and jumps could with time. A full-time switch to left field also could be in the cards.  (Kris Willis@Kris_Willis  Dec 22, 2023)

    TRANSACTIONS

  • July 3, 2015: Ruiz signed with the Royals as a free agent, out of the Dominican Republic, via scout Edys de Oleo. The team got Esteury for $100,000, so he was a real bargain.

  • July 24, 2017: The Royals and Padres swapped multiple Major League pitchers. The Royasl sent Matt Strahm, Travis Wood, Minor League infield prospect Esteury Ruiz, and cash considerations to the Padres; acquiring Ryan Buchter, Trevor Cahill and Brandon Maurer.

  • Aug. 1, 2022: The Padres and Brewers agreed to a trade that sent star closer Josh Hader heading to San Diego. In return, the Brewers received closer Taylor Rogers, pitcher Dinelson Lamet, outfielder Esteury Ruiz, and pitching prospect Robert Gassar.

  • Dec 12, 2022: In a three-way, nine-player swap: The A’s get: OF Esteury Ruiz from Brewers (club's No. 8-ranked prospect) C Manny Piña from Braves, LHP Kyle Muller from Braves (club's No. 1-ranked prospect), RHP Freddy Tarnok from the Braves (club's No. 6-ranked prospect), and RHP Royber Salinas from the Braves (club's No. 18-ranked prospect).

    The Braves get:  C Sean Murphy from A’s.

    The Brewers get: C William Contreras from Braves, RHP Joel Payamps from A’s, RHP Justin Yeager from Braves.

Batting
  • Ruiz’s strong wrists and explosive hands generate excellent bat speed, allowing him to generate surprising exit velocity for such a wiry player. He makes contact frequently for a 50 grade hit tool and hit with authority, generating loft and 40 grade power.

    Esteury is a sleek, athletic player with plenty of tools. He has surprising plus raw power for his frame. Ruiz's power-speed combination is enticing, but he long struggled to make contact with a long, uphill swing and poor strike-zone discipline. He overhauled his approach in 2022 and improved his pitch selection, cut down his chases and increased the number of pitches he was seeing, resulting in a rebound campaign. (Ben Badler - Baseball America Prospect Handbook - Spring, 2023)

  • Esteury has always shown promising bat speed and decent raw power from the right side. However, Padres officials had been concerned about his swing decisions on pitches outside of the zone, leading to either strikeouts or weak contact. The Dominican Republic native has worked with San Antonio staff in 2022 to cut down on the chase rate, causing his walk rate to nearly double while he’s done a better job of lifting the ball on contact.

    San Antonio manager Phillip Wellman said. “All we did was hammer his chase rate and strike-zone discipline. He’s not afraid to walk, because if he walks, he’s going to steal second and probably third and put himself in a good position to score. And when he gets his pitch, he’s not missing it.

    “He’s just locked in right now,” Wellman said. “The last thing a team wants to do is walk him because they know what’s coming after. He can fly.” (Jeff Sanders - Baseball America - June, 2022)

  • Ruiz has the speed to provide value, and he puts it to good use on the basepaths. His 158 steals from 2016-21 ranked sixth-most in the Minors over that span. (Spring 2022)

  • When he stays in the strike zone, Ruiz combines wrist strength, bat speed and physical strength to produce hard line drives and some raw power. But he's had trouble laying off pitches outside the zone. He's an above-average runner who reaches max speed quickly, and he’s aggressive and savvy on the basepaths. One of the better all-around athletes in the organization, the Padres still like Ruiz's speed and his upside at the plate. (Spring 2020)

  • Ruiz shows above-average power at times, but his shortcoming is he is overly aggressive, swinging through fastballs up and breaking balls down. He doesn't adjust his stroke with two strikes, and his swing is long, projecting him as nothing more than a fringe-average hitter. (Spring 2019)

  •  Esteury displays an exciting combination of hitting ability and power, especially once he adds strength that should give him a chance to hit 25 home runs. He hits to all parts of the yard. (Spring 2019)

  • Ruiz has an advanced approach at the plate and long arms that give leverage to his swing.

  • Nov 2020: The Padres most intriguing Rule 5 Prospect:  Esteury Ruiz, 2B/OF (No. 19)

    Signed by the Royals during the 2015-16 international period, Ruiz landed with San Diego at the 2017 Trade Deadline. He proceeded to garner Arizona Fall League MVP honors after leading the circuit in hits, doubles, triples and total bases. He hasn’t been able to replicate that type of production in full-season ball, but is a dynamic athlete with an explosive right-handed swing, above-average speed and the ability to play either second base or the outfield.

  • 2023 Season: Ruiz put up a pretty good rookie campaign, setting the AL rookie record for stolen bases with 67, and even finding his power stroke a little bit in the final month, hitting three homers in an 18-game stretch in September. He finished the year with five bombs total, but he was focusing more on driving the ball in that final month. He finished September with a 130 wRC+, making it his best month at the dish. Ruiz also held a 97 wRC+ in the second half of the season, which is just below league average (100). 

    The 24-year-old finished the season with an 86 wRC+, hit .254 with a .309 OBP, and had a pretty solid 19.9% strikeout rate. He also hit .365 with runners in scoring position, and there was a point early on in the season where he was just absolutely automatic with a runner on second and/or third. 

    Ruiz just missed the cut of being a "qualified" batter, but his average with RISP would have been top-5 in baseball last season, and third in 2021 and 2022. (Jason Burke - Dec. 12, 2023)

Fielding
  • Esteury Ruiz is still learning to play center field after his hard hands made him unplayable in the infield. His reads and jumps are only fair (40 grade) but could improve with more experience. His arm is a below-average 45 grade. Spring, 2023) 

  • Those wheels have helped him move from second to the outfield, but he’s still rough around the edges there with enough speed to make up for mistakes.  (Spring 2022)

  • With his glove, Ruiz is less advanced, and he profiles as a fringe-average defender at second base with an OK arm.  He has the tools to project as big league infielder. But he’s going to need plenty of refinement on both sides of the ball. (Spring 2020)

  • Ruiz is a below-average defender, but he could become average with more experience.

  • Ruiz may end up in the outfield. He has the athleticism to play second base, but his hard hands and poor throwing accuracy portend a move to the outfield. (Spring 2019)
  • Esteury Ruiz is one of the fastest players in baseball and he leads the AL in stolen bases. He ranks in the 98th percentile in sprint speed, and that’s an important factor in getting him to the 73rd percentile in outs above average. His range is special, but his jumps, routes and angles in the outfield are inconsistent.

    Offensively, it’s a different picture. He ranks in the 1st percentile in average exit velocity and hard-hit rate and in the 2nd percentile in barrel percentage. (Bowden - Aug 18, 2023- The Athletic)
Running
  •  Ruiz is a very intelligent, plus runner who can steal a lot of bases with his superb instincts.(Spring 2019)

  • 2022 Season: Ruiz was the centerpiece of Oakland's return in the Sean Murphy trade, coming off from Milwaukee in the three-way deal. He appeared in only 17 games last season but is coming off a breakout year in the minors, hitting .332-16-65 with 85 stolen bases. 

  • June 27, 2023: - Esteury Ruiz has already raced his way into the record books on a few occasions this season.

    The speedster notched yet another impressive feat. With a stolen base in the third inning of a 2-1 victory over the Yankees at the Coliseum, Ruiz became the first A’s player to steal 40 bases in a season since Coco Crisp, who swiped 49 bags in 2011. In Oakland history, Ruiz is the 11th player to reach 40 in a season, a mark which has only been reached 27 times.

    Now just one stolen base away from matching last year’s MLB-leading total of 41 by Jon Berti, Ruiz is the first player to reach 40 steals before July since Billy Hamilton with the Reds in 2015, a season in which he finished with 57. 

    On pace for 80 stolen bases, Ruiz would easily shatter Kenny Lofton’s AL rookie single-season record of 66 in 1992. It would be the most in a single season since A’s legend Rickey Henderson swiped 93 bags in 1988. Ruiz already surpassed Henderson for the second-most stolen bases by a rookie in Oakland history, and he remains well in line to overtake the franchise rookie record of 42 held by Mitchell Page in 1977.

  • Oct. 1, 2023: Ruiz set the American League rookie record for most stolen bases with his AL-leading 67th.
Career Injury Report
  • July 6-Aug 5, 2023: Ruiz was on the IL with right shoulder subluxation.