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Really don’t like how the Brewers used — or should say didn’t use — Esteury Ruiz this past year, after he was acquired. Bit worrisome that they acquired Esteury Ruiz at the end of August, then sent him to the minors until September, called him up for three games, then sent him right back down. Not instilling in me a lot of confidence. So, why even do this rookie outlook post to join all my other fantasy baseball rookies posts (not clickbait at all!)? Because Esteury Ruiz’s minor league numbers are some of the sheer goofiest I’ve ever seen. He’s only 23 (about to be 24 in February), but his minor league numbers are…Well, let me try something. His minor league stats are gorgeo827–Damn, tried to type that with the drool hanging from my bottom lip. All right, hold onto your seat and cover your pants tent, because this gonna get you excited: 16 homers, 86 steals between Double-A, Triple-A and the majors. That’s in only 472 at-bats! Oh, and he led all minor leaguers with a .447 OBP. What even, bro? Is this real life or am I tripping on peyote while staring at a Rickey Henderson rookie card? Prospects of note who had a line of .300/.400/.500: Gunnar Henderson, Miguel Vargas, Corbin Carroll and Esteury Ruiz. Welp, that’s great, I am now selling my car and reinvesting all my money into Esteury Ruiz rookie cards. See ya later! So, what can we expect from Esteury Ruiz for 2023 fantasy baseball?

Trying to find good video of Esteury Ruiz was a challenge, so keep in mind:

“Hey, how about we place the camera on the roof of the stadium and lazily move it on each swing? Cool? Cool!” Okay, let’s try another one from at least a major league park camera:

Hey, we don’t have to squint to see him there at least. Just your standard up-the-middle slapdoink, but my takeaway from that, and maybe the video above it, though I was squinting hard to see anything there, is he’s not a home run hitter. It looks like minor league power, that will be maybe 5-7 homer power in the majors. He’s a full-on twig. No way twigs have power. That’s the first thing they teach us in Twig School. He’s six-foot even and 160 pounds. C’mon. He might be lucky to get to five homers. That’s fine, we’re not going to want him for power, but for those who are dreaming of a 15/45/.300 season, I get the sense he’s a lot more of a Myles Straw-type than a Trea Turner-type. Straw hit zero homers, by the by. Won’t put that on Ruiz yet. but I think it will be clsoer to zero than 16. Though, in fairness, Straw never had more than four homers in any stop anywhere, so who knows? Maybe I’m underestimating Ruiz’s Twig Power. Whatever the case, he’s a little-to-no strikeout hitter, great plate discipline, and blazing speed.

Gesturing back to my Sal Frelick fantasy, I don’t know where Esteury Ruiz is playing either. Brewers have interesting prospects, and no place to play them. Maybe they do some trading this offseason. I reached out to a few people who I think know the Brewers well and that didn’t come back with any definite timetable or playing time picture. In fact, one clouded my optimism by a lot, saying, “The Brewers’ outfield is a mess and one I’ll probably let others roll the dice on. Yelich is a Brewer for life. Renfroe is arb. eligible and I’d have to think they want him back after a decent 2022. The other slot will be filled by one of Garrett Mitchell (solid Sept.), Tyrone Taylor, Esteury Ruiz, Joey Wiemer, Brice Turang, Sal Frelick, and an un-named player that they will trade for in the offseason. Add to that Jackson Chourio, who is a few years away but will eventually clog up the outfield situation even more than it is already clogged up. I have no clue as to what they are doing and trying to sort it out short-term is a fool’s errand. I think Frelick is the best of the bunch but all it takes is one of the herd of players above to get off to a hot start and the best laid plans gets flushed right down the old crapper.” Lowercase yay! That was Tout Wars and LABR participant and one-time Razzball writer, Tim McLeod. Thanks, Tim!

The good thing is Esteury Ruiz could see only 300 major league at-bats and have fantasy value. Not worth drafting in all leagues, or maybe any mixed redraft leagues, but more of a late-game flyer-slash-NL-Only end-game lottery ticket. Think about how I got Jon Berti in an NL-Only league last year in the free round. That could be Esteury Ruiz this year. That, actually, might be his upside this year, a random 300 at-bats and 30 steals. His downside is he comes up and Twig Power doesn’t really play, and his slap-and-run becomes a .220 hitter in the majors. For 2023, I’ll give Esteury Ruiz projections of 31/2/25/.247/19 in 293 ABs with a chance for a lot more (and a lot less), but mostly on speed.