If there's one thing we know about Esteury Ruiz, it's that he's a beast on the base paths. His 67 steals were the most by a rookie since Vince Coleman set the record back in 1985.
Acquired as part of the Sean Murphy trade prior to the 2023 season, Ruiz came to Oakland and immediately slotted into center field for the Athletics. He finished the season with a .254/.309/.345 slash line.
There are certainly flaws in Ruiz's game. He's never hit for a ton of power and he doesn't have the best arm in the outfield. However, his speed allows him to catch up to a bunch of fly balls that other guys can't get to and he doesn't strike out a ton at the plate, which allows him to get on base enough to steal a ton of bases.
Ruiz is about to turn 25, meaning that there's plenty of time for him to fix holes in his swing, add power, and improve as a ball player. He's as electric a player as there is in the game today. He's lightning fast on the base paths and could be an all-star with a few small tweaks to his approach at the plate.
Statcast has him in the 97th percentile for sprint speed. With a full year of playing time, he could become just the 5th player to break 70 steals in a season since the turn of the century. We're extremely excited to see how Ruiz improves in 2024 and beyond.