WASHINGTON - Keibert Ruiz has certainly established himself as the Nationals’ catcher of the future and one of the best young players at that position in the majors.
But what about possible backups in the future with the Nationals at catcher?
Here is a look at some catchers down on the farm, including two that are listed among the top 30 prospects in the system by MLB.com:
Drafted by the A’s in the seventh round in 2019, Millas came to the Nationals last July at the trade deadline.
He is listed as the No. 19 prospect in the system by MLB.com but his offensive numbers have not been good this year.
Millas, 24 and a native of St. Louis, was batting .200 with an OPS of .598 in games through Tuesday this season with two teams.
He played 13 games for Single-A Fredericksburg before going up to Double-A Harrisburg.
Pineda, 22, certainly provides more pop at the plate than Millas.
Pineda had 14 homers in 77 games for Wilmington last year.
But through Tuesday, he had just two this season for the Blue Rocks while batting .234.
He is listed at No. 24 among Washington prospects.
A fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma in 2020, he was college teammates with pitcher Cade Cavalli.
This year with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators he was batting .212 with an OPS of .641 through Tuesday.
He is 24.
The native of Texas played in two games with the Nationals in 2019 and in 30 last season.
He has been a Triple-A Rochester this year under manager Matt LeCroy, a former catcher with the Twins and Nationals and an ex-bullpen coach for Washington.
A right-handed hitter, Barrera, 27, was batting .263 with an OPS of .840 through Tuesday with the Red Wings.
A fourth-round pick of the Pirates in 2014 out of college, he is hitting .242 with seven homers this year split between Harrisburg and now Rochester.
He played in two games with the Cubs last year before signing with the Nationals. Gushue is 28 and played earlier in his career in the Washington system.
“Since I left and came back I think there have been a bunch of upgrades and I can see the winning emphasis re-ignited, I feel like, just top to bottom. It is not just at the big-league level,” Gushue told Federal Baseball earlier this season. “I think it has been amazing. Reboot or rebuild, however you want to phrase it, I think it is more than that. We are on our way to something special. It’s been great, being a part of it in 2019 playing at Triple-A, and seeing guys go up and help the big-league squad. It was awesome to be a part of.”
Diaz, 21, is from the Dominican Republic. He was hitting .237 with an OPS of .736 in games through Tuesday for Single-A Fredericksburg.
With all catchers, of course, defense is a top priority, especially for a possible backup catcher. So a lack of eye-popping numbers this year by the group of above.