During the 2022 season, Ruben Ibarra split the first half of the season between Single-A Daytona and High-A Dayton. He found success in Daytona where he had an .864 OPS in 42 games. But in 26 games with Dayton he struggled and hit just .188 with a .631 OPS before an injury cost him almost all of the second half of the year.
This article was first sent out to those who support the site over on Patreon. Early access is one of the perks that you could get be joining up as a Patron and supporting the work done here at RedsMinorLeagues.com.
The Cincinnati Reds sent Ruben Ibarra back to Dayton. In 2023 he began the year in the same place he ended the previous year – on the injured list. Ibarra missed the first three weeks of the season before returning to the lineup for the final week of April. He went 0-3 in his first game, but picked up at least one hit in the four remaining games of the month – including his first homer of the season.
That hot hitting carried forward into May, and in the first seven games he hit three more home runs. But the hot-hitting came to an abrupt halt as he went 2-20 over the following week. Ibarra picked things back up over the final 11 days of the month, putting up an .806 OPS with two home runs. Everything slowed down in June and for the next five weeks the first baseman struggled at the plate, going 15-82 (.183) in 24 games.
On July 9th Ruben Ibarra picked up two hits against Great Lakes. He kept hitting the rest of the month, hitting .267 with nearly as many walks as strikeouts. When the calendar flipped to August, so did the script. For the first two weeks of the month, Ibarra hit just .135. Everything turned around starting on August 15th and for the next three weeks he hit .319 with seven home runs before slumping for the final four days of the season.
For all 2023 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Ruben Ibarra Scouting Report
Position: First Base | B/T: R/R
Height: 6′ 5″ | Weight: 290 lbs. | Acquired: 4th Round (2021 Draft) | Born: April 26, 1999
Hitting | A below-average hit tool.
Power | He has plus power.
Speed | He’s a well below-average runner.
Defense | A below-average defender (see below).
Arm | A below-average arm.
The calling card for Ruben Ibarra is his power. Listed at 6′ 5″ and 290 lbs., he’s about as big of a guy you’re going to see on a professional baseball field. But even with that size it’s clear that he’s actually quite athletic. His size limits his speed and defensively he’s only going to be able to play first base. That puts his defensive value on the negative side – but he’s a fine first baseman, it’s just that it’s very, very difficult to have overall positive defensive value if you are playing first base. He moves well around the bag and should have no issues remaining at first base (as opposed to having to become a designated hitter).
At the plate, Ibarra can hit the ball about as hard and as far as anyone. He’s got plus to plus-plus raw power. His game power is already above-average. In order to get the most of the power he’s going to have to be more consistent at the plate. And that also holds true for his hitting overall. Ibarra was hot and cold throughout the season, struggling to find consistency. That’s held true for his professional career to this point.
His power will play anywhere, but as he continues to move up the ladder he’s going to need to hit for a better average. A first baseman has to hit for elite power or hit for a solid average and above-average power if he’s going to start in the big leagues.
Ruben Ibarra Spray Chart
Interesting Stat on Ruben Ibarra
In 2023 he struggled against starters but had a lot of success against relievers. In 183 at-bats against starting pitchers he hit .219/.319/.377. In 157 at-bats against relievers he hit .261/.375/.516.