The Cincinnati Reds have announced the signing of a 16-year-old out of the Mexican League today. Infielder/catcher Victor Ruiz will turn 17 in two days, and while he was signed from a Mexican League team, he’s never appeared in their “big league” version of the league. That’s not surprising, the level of talent in that league is quite high, especially for a teenager.
He did play last season in their “minor league” though, where he hit .298/.392/.440. He’s being listed as 6′ 2″ and 195 lbs, which is quite a good size for a guy who likely isn’t finished growing or filling out. Here’s a quote directly from the Cincinnati Reds and Director of International Scouting Tony Arias on Victor Ruiz:
“We scouted Victor extensively this summer playing in the Mexican academy league in Monterrey, where he had an outstanding season. We also saw him excel in the 18U Pan-American Tournament as a 16-year-old for the Mexican National Team. He has hit at every level to this point, has very good hands and a good throwing arm, and brings the sort of leadership and competitive qualities to the table that we look for.”
Unfortunately I couldn’t find any results from the Pan-Am tournament outside of games involving the United States. They did happen to play the Mexican team and Ruiz started the game at third and was slotted 3rd in the lineup, but he was replaced after his first plate appearance in the game.
Jorge Campillo, the Director of the team he was playing for, had this to say about him (translation provided by Google):
“Ruíz was an athlete in our school, physically got stronger, improved its speed, it really was an incredible change and that is the fruit. There were five organizations interested in him and in the end was Cincinnati who signed”
I was able to find one video online of him playing. It’s a very poor quality video (in terms of resolution) from Youtube, but, it’s better than nothing. Give it a watch below – it’s only 15 seconds long and from batting practice in February.
As of now there’s no word on how much the signing was for, but with the Cincinnati Reds over their signing allotment pool, whatever the cost was to sign Victor Ruiz, that same amount of money will be going to Major League Baseball as a part of a fine as well.