Dodgers Prospect Watch: Matt Beaty, DJ Peters, Walker Buehler & Keibert Ruiz

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(Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Davis)

It’s that time of the year again — the point when all of those who follow the Dodgers farm system can sit back and watch the best prospects in the organization deservedly reel in the many end-of-season awards from their respective leagues across the minors.

On Friday afternoon, it was announced that Matt Beaty captured the honor of being named the Texas League Player of the Year.

The 24-year-old corner infielder is currently third in the entire pitcher-friendly league in batting average. His .324/.381/.506 slash line over 107 games is the best of his three-year minor league career, and he has also added 29 doubles and 14 home runs to feature a touch of power.

Beaty grew up in Dresden, Tennessee, and after a prominent career at Dresden High, decided to attend Belmont University in nearby Nashville. Following his All-American senior year at Belmont, Beaty was selected by the Dodgers in the 12th round of the 2015 MLB Draft.

The Dodgers drafted Beaty with the intentions of utilizing him as a catcher; however, his skills at the corner infield spots have proved to be his most valuable assets. To further show his versatility, he has also appeared in a handful of games in both left and right field for Double-A Tulsa this season.

TBPC had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Matt in late June. He’s currently ranked as the 30th best prospect in the Dodgers system.

On Tuesday, the California league announced that Single-A Rancho Cucamonga outfielder DJ Peters received the award of Cal League Player of the Year.

The 21-year-old native of Glendora is hitting .281/.382/.515 for the Quakes, along with tallying 85 runs scored, 28 doubles, 24 long balls and 76 RBI in 470 AB. Incredibly, he was named Cal League Player of the Week three times this year, in addition to being honored as a mid-season All-Star. Yet with all those accolades under his belt, perhaps his finest moment of the year was taking San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner deep two times in the same inning when the lefty was rehabbing in San Jose.

Not long after being selected by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2016 draft out of Western Nevada College, the right-handed hitting Peters is quickly climbing to the top of the Dodgers prospect rankings. The 6’6″ Peters is probably best known for his power, but his patience and discipline at the plate is continuing to develop, as was made evident with his 35 walks in 66 games in 2016 and his 63 walks this season. Home runs aside, scouts within the organization are very pleased by his ability to barrel-up the ball and his capability to drive it to all fields.

MLB Pipeline ranks Peters as the 17th best prospect in the organization. TBPC profiled Peters back in April.

Also on Tuesday, the Dodgers named righty Walker Buehler and catcher Keibert Ruiz as the Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year.

In 24 combined appearances this season with Single-A Rancho, Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City, Buehler, the Dodgers’ highest rated prospect, has a 3-3 record with a 3.26 ERA over 85-2/3 innings and one save, striking out a combined 121 batters against just 29 walks. The Dodgers originally selected the Lexington, Kentucky native with the 24th overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft.

As far as his pitching repertoire goes, Buehler can crank up his four-seam to a hefty 98 MPH, miss bats with his plus slider and curve, and fool the best of hitters with his high quality changeup — an arsenal that certainly has the potential to play big at the major league level in either a starting pitching role or a relief capacity.

TBPC put together a concise profile of Buehler back in May.

Ruiz, who turned 19 just last month, was signed out of Venezuela in 2014 and after a stellar 2016 campaign for rookie-level Ogden, combined to hit .325 with 56 runs, 22 doubles, two triples, eight home runs, and 50 RBI in 94 games for Low-A Great Lakes and Single-A Rancho this season.

Ruiz began 2017 by slashing .317/372/.423 in 63 games for the Loons and was promoted to Rancho on July 9. With the Quakes, Ruiz is batting .339 with six homers, six doubles, 26 RBI and 22 runs scored in 31 games. In 194 career minor-league games, the switch-hitting catcher has slashed .335 /.377/.469 with 11 homers, 52 doubles and 117 RBI. Offensive skills aside, he’s probably better known for his defense behind the dish, as he’s considered already to be an MLB-caliber receiver by most scouts within the organization.

TBPC took the time to profile Ruiz last March. He’s currently ranked as the seventh best prospect in the Dodgers’ system.

(FOLLOW DENNIS ON TWITTER: @THINKBLUEPC)

 

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