Continuing our 2017 Atlanta Braves Player Previews is a look at potential starting third baseman, Rio Ruiz.
When the Evan Gattis trade went down for the Braves in 2015, Rio Ruiz was coming off of a great season. Ruiz excelled in High-A for the Astros, hitting .293/.387/.436 to go along with 11 HR and 77 RBI.
At the time of the deal, it was viewed that Ruiz could be a potential starter down the line for the Braves. Well, he finally has his chance to compete.
Ruiz’s 2016 season was a step above his 2015 performance in AA, which was a great sign for the Braves. After struggling in AA the previous year, Ruiz improved his batting average by 42 points.
Although Gwinnett is a definite upgrade due to the way the park caters to hitters, Ruiz’s improvements in his average helped him gain a call-up to Atlanta in September.
Ruiz finished the year in AAA with a .271/.355/.400 slash line along with 10 HR and 62 RBI.
Ruiz’s promotion to Atlanta did not result in much playing time, as Ruiz logged just seven plate appearances. Ruiz did manage to get two base hits in his short time in Atlanta, but the experience was much needed as he is currently in a battle for the starting third base job.
2017 Steamer Projections
The Steamer Projections for Ruiz are not very good, as it seems like he is going to be viewed as a role player for the Braves this upcoming season after returning to AAA.
Steamer projects Ruiz to hit .233/.307/.353 with 3 HR and …
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