The Prospect Stock Watch: Reid-Foley, Ruiz, Suiter

Today’s Prospect Stock Watch takes a look at a Jays pitching prospect that might make a good trade chip, a Dodgers catching prospect that should reach the Top 100 prospects list soon, and another potential Rule 5 pick for this December.

Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Blue Jays: Reid-Foley has been one of those maddening young pitchers in 2017 due to his lack of command and consistency. He has overwhelming stuff — as witnessed by his 12 Ks in 6.2 innings on Friday night — thanks to a 95-97 mph fastball and slider but he’s also given up 12 homers and has a habit of producing a clunker of a game every two or three starts. He’s been better lately — In his first five starts of the year he got past three innings just once. He struggles to repeat his delivery and part of his issues may also be mental – he seems to meltdown pretty easily and is prone to overthrowing. A four-pitch pitcher, Reid-Foley may be better suited by trimming his repertoire and focusing on three offerings; if he can improve the fastball command he doesn’t really need many other tricks to overpower hitters other than a change of speed and/or plane. With Toronto’s pitching in a state of flux, Reid-Foley should have a good opportunity to throw meaningful innings at the big league level in 2018 — although he also seems like the type of pitcher that’s due for Tommy John surgery sooner rather than later (throws hard, inconsistent mechanics, etc). If I’m the Jays, I’m looking to use him in a package to acquire a young, controllable hitter.

Keibert Ruiz, C, Dodgers: The Dodgers boast a system that has three or four catching prospects that should play at the big league level. If I’m a team doing a deal with the Dodgers at the trade deadline, I’m asking for Ruiz. He’s done nothing but hit as a pro and, as a 19 year old, had a line of .317/.372/.423 through 63 games in low-A. That earned him a recent promotion to high-A ball where he’s produced another 12 hits — and six extra base knocks — in just eight games. Ruiz is also a switch-hitter who shows solid skills from both sides. He has a chance to be an impact hitter at the catcher’s position and his defence will be average or better at the big league level. Ruiz should reach double-A, if not higher, in 2018 so he’s on pace to be in the Majors at the age of 21 or earlier. Incumbent catcher Yasmani Grandal is just 28 and one of the better hitting catchers in the Majors but he’s also becoming expensive (He’s making $5.5 million this year) as free agency nears; Ruiz (along with Austin Barnes – a very good backup catcher) should offer a cost effective and impactful option for many years to come.

Jerrick Suiter, OF, Pirates: How about a deep sleeper? The Blue Jays identified a number of hard-to-sign prep stars in the 2011 draft but came up empty locking up most of them, including Aaron Nola, Luke Weaver and Tyler Beede — all of whom went on to become first round picks three years later. Suiter was another young player that didn’t sign as a right-handed starter. He chose to play at Texas Christian University as a two-way player (pitcher and outfielder). Those plans changed quickly and he threw just 10 innings in his collegiate career. Drafted late in the draft in 2014, Suiter is finally getting comfortable as an everyday hitter. He has a powerful frame but was never a big-time home run hitter. He’s made some adjustments this year in double-A, though, and has seen his Isolated Slugging (ISO) jump from a .070 in ’16 to .181 (power hitters are typically at .200 or greater). He’s continued to control the strike zone reasonably well and has 31 walks (13.9%) and 45 strikeouts (19.7%) in 59 games. Suiter, 24, is a decent outfielder due to his strong arm (He could throw 94 mph as a pitcher) but has limited range. He’s not the type of prospect that typically gets nabbed in the Rule 5 draft but he’ll be eligible in December if Pittsburgh doesn’t protect him; his 28% line-drive rate should be intriguing to some.

Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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