Ruiz, 21, is batting just .135 over his last 10 games for Triple-A Gwinnett. Ruiz started the season on a tear but has since come crashing down to earth. Strikeouts remain a concern, as he has fanned 38 times in 34 games in 2016. He also continues to struggle in the power department; he has just seven home runs in 161 games between Double-A and Triple-A.
Ruiz left Wednesday's game with a leg injury, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. Ruiz injured his leg running out of the batter's box on a single in the eighth inning. It's currently unclear what specifically is injured or how severe the injury is, but that should become clearer in the coming days.
Braves third-base prospect Rio Ruiz was once recruited to play quarterback with USC but said Tuesday he has no regrets about choosing baseball over football, MLB.com reports. "Playing baseball doesn't stop me from throwing a football," Ruiz said. "I throw it as much as I can. During the season, I usually put it into my throwing routine too. So I'll bring a football out during BP and throw it around before I throw a baseball. I joke around and say I should have played football instead of baseball every time I throw it around. But I know I made the right decision." Traded to Atlanta this offseason, Ruiz is set to begin the year with Double-A Mississippi, and if he can turn in a successful 2015 campaign, he could enter next spring as the favorite to start at third base. He hit .293/.387/.436 with 11 home runs and 77 RBI in 516 at-bats and drew 82 walks with high Class A Lancaster last season.
Braves third base prospect Rio Ruiz expressed happiness about being dealt to Atlanta as part of the package the Braves received for Evan Gattis, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "Initially (the trade) was overwhelming," Ruiz said. "Then I looked at the big picture and I was happy with it. I watched the Braves growing up, and my dad just talked about the guys that came through this system and played in the big leagues." Braves first-base coach Terry Pendleton, who was named National League MVP in 1991 as a member of the Braves, likes what he's seen from Ruiz in the early stages of spring training. "I watched him play a little defense — he's got a little work to do," Pendleton said. "But offensively, he's sound. Really sound offensively. Just watching him in the cage, he's inside the ball (with his swing). He's what you want a young kid to be coming up so all you've got to do is tweak here and there. That's what he looks like anyway." Ruiz, 20, is expected to begin the season with Double-A Mississippi. He hit .293/.387/.436 with 11 home runs, 77 RBI and four stolen bases in 516 at-bats with high Class A Lancaster in 2014.
The Braves have traded catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis and pitcher James Hoyt to the Astros for three prospects, the teams announced. CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman confirmed the deal early on Wednesday. The deal was initially reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The 28-year-old Gattis is coming off a season in which he hit .263/.317/.493 over 369 at-bats. Gattis dealt with back issues during the season, causing him to miss time. Gattis is under team control through the 2018 season. It's unclear where Gattis will play with his new club. Hoyt, 27, posted a 3.17 ERA over two levels of the minors last year. In return, the Braves will receive pitchers Mike Foltynewicz and Andrew Thurman , and third baseman Rio Ruiz . Foltynewicz was rated as the Astros third-best prospect this year according to Baseball America. The 23-year-old pitched in 18 games with Houston last year, posting a 5.30 ERA. Thurman, 23, posted a 5.38 ERA at Class A last year. The 20-year-old Ruiz .293/.387/.436 over 516 at-bats in High A.