Braves Ruiz Gives Dad Gift He’ll Never Forget
On September 28, 2016 something happened to Atlanta Braves prospect Rio Ruiz that no one can ever take away from him…he recorded his first MLB hit!
If you recall, that hit wasn’t just a lonely single, it was a hot shot towards center field where Odubel Herrera couldn’t make the play on the ball and it rolled all the way to the fences. Ruiz legged out a triple for his first professional hit in an Atlanta Braves uniform.
The 22-year-old was all smiles as he reached third base and could you blame him? Tomahawk Take ranks Ruiz as the Braves 19th rated player in the organization, but he may be the closest top prospect to be playing in Atlanta besides Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies. Heading into the 2017 Spring Training, Ruiz will be given a shot to play in a platoon role with Adonis Garcia at the third base position.
The Houston Astros drafted Ruiz in the 4th round of the 2012 MLB draft out of Bishop Amat Memorial High School. The Braves acquired him on January 14, 2015 when they sent Evan Gattis to Houston for Mike Foltynewicz, Andrew Thurman and Ruiz.
The big 6’1″ 230 pounder is known for having great plate discipline, power and being able to make good contact. His struggles though are going the opposite way. MLB pitchers will pick up on this quickly if he doesn’t work on it.
His stock fell a little heading into the 2012 draft as he missed most of his senior season in high school because of a blood clot in his neck. According to the Times, Rio’s Father Rudy Ruiz said back in 2012…”the clot was caused by a repetitive pitching motion that caused a pinching of the vein near the clavicle.” Pretty scary situation for one of the top prospects in the country.
When Rio was first called up to the Atlanta Braves, he continued to mention “family” in all his interviews. It’s great to see that he respects and knows all his family has sacrificed to see him play the game he loves.
This Christmas, Rio was able to give back to his father and give him the gift that I’m sure all fathers would cherish. Watch the video Rio posted on Twitter yesterday…
You can see in the video Rio’s father getting a little emotional over his present. And wouldn’t you if you were in that situation? Rio gifted his father with his jersey, the ball of his first hit and the lineup card. Terrific gift Rio, now gift us Braves fans with an amazing year in 2017!
Rio Ruiz is definitely a guy that’s been through a lot already in his young life and someone you can get behind and cheer for moving forward. Yes, Garcia is most likely going to be our primary third baseman in 2017, but I’m hoping Ruiz can steal some AB’s and earn that position.