We are one week out from meaningful Atlanta Braves baseball!
That’s the good news. The bad news: well, there isn’t any, really. However, there is some intrigue related to the Atlanta Braves 25 man roster. On the position player side, one narrative since the outset of Spring Training has been the lack of clarity at the third base position.
The Atlanta Braves have had two choices: Rio Ruiz or Johan Camargo. Coming off a monstrous campaign in the Dominican Winter League this year, Camargo seemed primed for a breakout, and likely the 3B job as well.
Indeed, the consensus until very recently was that the 3B job was Johan’s to lose. Baseball, however, doesn’t abide by consensus, as Johan Camargo went down with an oblique injury and now likely won’t be ready for opening day.
Rio Ruiz, the Injury Profiteer?
It’s well known at this point that Johan Camargo’s impressive 2017 performance came screaming out of the blue. Camargo has never had much pedigree and before last year never had even a modest hitting profile. The fact that Camargo was lined up to take the 3B job over Rio Ruiz likely flummoxed many a scout. Rio Ruiz has long had something Camargo hasn’t: prospect pedigree.
Something that has been forgotten by many Braves fans is just how highly touted Rio Ruiz once was. In the 2012 amateur draft, the Houston Astros primarily signed Carlos Correa because they knew he would sign under slot value, enabling Houston also to nab Rio Ruiz.
Yep, Rio Ruiz was more highly thought of than Carlos Correa at the time. Hindsight is 20/20, and performance will always trump pedigree, but I’d like to underline a few things about Rio Ruiz which may have long been forgotten.