Davey Martinez has spent the last weeks and months getting to know some of the players who figure to play a big role in the Washington Nationals’ future, including Keibert Ruiz, a 23-year-old catcher acquired in the Max Scherzer/Trea Turner trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who immediately became the top prospect in the organization once he joined it.
Martinez’s early impressions of the backstop?
“He’s a quiet kid, but he’s very observant,” the fourth-year skipper said on Monday afternoon in Colorado.
“He looks, he watches everything, he’s in tune with what’s going on. He has a good game plan going into the games.
“But he’s very quiet, and willing to learn, he wants to get better, he’s already made a presence with just communicating with his teammates.
“We had a little meeting one day, and I asked if anybody had anything to say, and he spoke up, which is pretty impressive for a young kid that got traded to a new team, and he spoke up and told his teammates that he’ll do whatever it takes to help this team win.
“And he appreciates the opportunity and he’s going to do everything he can to be a good teammate, and that’s pretty awesome.”
As he’s been learning the starters and relievers on the major league roster over the last few weeks, Ruiz has also picked it up at the plate, going 16 for 40 (.400/.442/.600) in the last 10 games, with two doubles and two home runs, two walks, and just one strikeout in a total of 43 plate appearances. One of the two walks in that stretch was a bases-loaded walk in last night’s win, which forced in the first run of the game for the Nationals in a 5-4 win.
“Great at-bat,” Martinez said. “Great at-bat for a young kid. But like I said, I truly believe this kid is going to hit and you’re going to see a lot more at-bats like that.”
Ruiz is back behind the plate tonight, working with Patrick Corbin in the second of three in Coors Field.
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR TONIGHT’S GAME VS THE ROCKIES:
NOTE: Ryan Zimmerman is in the lineup, starting at first in his 37th birthday!