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Meet Christian Ruebeck

The 2022 First-Year Player Draft was held from July 17 through July 19. The Dodgers selected 19 players, all but four of them position players, which was a definite difference from the 2021 draft. During the 2021 First-Year Player Draft the Dodgers also selected 19 players, all but two of them pitchers.

Once the draft is over MLB teams can start to sign undrafted free agents.  Effective this year, there is no maximum on the signing bonus an undrafted player can receive, although any amount over $125,000 will count against a team’s bonus pool.

Thus far in 2022, according to Baseball America in its most recent listing, 122 undrafted free agents have been signed by MLB teams. The count goes from a high of 13 with both the Phillies and Padres to a low of zero signings by the Twins and Cubs.

The Dodgers have signed five undrafted free agents and not surprisingly four of them are pitchers. The newest Dodgers are:

  • Connor Godwin, RHP, Central Florida JC
  • Carter Lohman, LHP, Louisville
  • Livan Reinoso, INF, Tennessee Wesleyan
  • Christian Ruebeck, RHP, Kansas State
  • Lucas Wepf, RHP, Louisiana-Monroe

Today’s column is reserved for Christian Ruebeck, a 6’0”/185 lb. right-hander from Kansas State.

He was born in Denison, Texas and attended Denison High School in his home town where he struck out 235 hitters over 172 2/3 innings in his career, earning Texas all-state and district MVP honors.

Ruebeck earned honorable mention all-state accolades as a Denison senior when he was 6-3 with a 0.65 earned run average in 64.2 innings with 106 strikeouts, 35 walks and 32 hits allowed. The District 10-5A Most Valuable also hit .376 with eight doubles, two triples, two home runs, 22 RBI and scored 25 times.

Ruebeck credits his high school coaches with his success and fostering his love for the game.

“I’ve loved playing Denison baseball,” he said. “The coaching is amazing. Coach Bollinger, I have to give a huge thanks to him. Coach Day, Coach Bo. They’ve coached me a long way in high school.”

Following his dream of at least playing college ball after high school, Ruebeck declared his intention to head to the University of Oklahoma. It  was an easy decision.

 

“I chose Oklahoma because I loved the school growing up,” said Ruebeck. “I grew up going to football games and baseball games there. Then I took a visit to Oklahoma with Skip Johnson the baseball coach there. He showed me around the new facilities at OU, and I just fell in love with the school even more.”

He plied his trade for two years with the Sooners and pitcher primarily in relief with limited success.  His 2020 season was shortened to four innings by Covid-19 while his 2021 season was to be his last as a Sooner.

Ruebeck began his college career at Oklahoma, making 16 appearances, one start, in two years there. His start came in 2021 to go with 11 relief outings and he was 0-1 with a 10.38 ERA in 13 innings while striking out 14 and walking 10.

During Big 12 play, Ruebeck made four relief appearances covering nine innings with a 1.00 ERA to go with nine strikeouts and nine walks.

For the 2022 season he transferred to Kansas State University.

Christian Ruebeck

Ruebeck, whose fastball has touched 98 miles per hour, made 13 appearances, four starts, this past spring in his lone season at Kansas State. He was 0-1 with a 9.58 earned run average in 31 innings. He struck out 42 and walked 29. His best outing came against Central Connecticut State when he allowed an earned run on three hits with seven strikeouts in a four-inning start.

During Big 12 play, Ruebeck made four relief appearances covering nine innings with a 1.00 ERA to go with nine strikeouts and nine walks.

Ruebeck’ s numbers with Kansas State most likely did not attract much attention from MLB teams. However, something must have caught the eye of the Dodgers.

Perhaps it was the success he had in the Big 12 in his relief role or perhaps it was his success in relief in the Northwoods League prior to the draft. Memory has it, the  Northwoods League is where Dodger right-hander Tony Gonsolin became noticed.

Ruebeck made seven appearances for the Fond du Lock Dock Spiders, going 1-0 with a save and a 1.80 ERA over 10 innings pitched. He has 18 strikeouts, 10 walks and a 1.30 WHIP. He struck out all five batters he faced to earn a save at Madison on June 19 and was credited with the victory on June 6 at Lakeshore after tossing 2.1 scoreless innings without giving up a hit. Over his last six outing he did not give up an earned run during a span of 9.1 innings pitched and recorded 16 strikeouts.

It would seem that he will be stepping on the mound specifically in a relief role and was signed for that role. Maybe the Dodgers saw what Prospects Live saw in the 21-year-old Ruebeck.

Prospects Live Report on Ruebeck – Sleeper Alert

Ruebeck has touched 97 MPH with the fastball and was typically 91-95 over multiple innings this summer. The fastball is of the heavy variety with sinker shape, occasionally flashing some solid tailing movement. He does a good job commanding the fastball to the lower half of the strike zone but not necessarily to either side of the plate. Ruebeck’s fastball can play above average when commanded effectively and it could have plus potential with added velocity. Ruebeck primarily works off his fastball and slider but he’ll also break out a curveball and a changeup. Ruebeck’s slider has some late downward movement on it and it can be a sharp pitch at times.

Ruebeck’s changeup gets good late movement and arm side fade, making it a potential weapon against lefty bats. There’s decent potential for three above average pitches with at least some chance for a plus pitch in the fastball or changeup.

Prospects Live had Ruebeck being selected in the fifth to seventh round of the 2022 draft and listed as a sleeper. I expect it is his command, or lack of, that prevented him from being drafted. Perhaps the Dodgers can help turn that around and turn Ruebeck into a reliever capable of working more than one inning.

 

Christian Ruebeck

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Jeff Dominique

There were two pitching stories at the MiLB level. 

The story of the night was Dustin May making his 2nd OKC rehab start. All eyes were on him. For the night his line was 3.0 IP, 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 BB, 6 K, 46 pitches (32 strikes).  He is getting closer to ramping up even more. He could be in a position to go 75-90 pitches for LAD by the beginning of September. He hit 99.9 on the gun last night. 

The second pitcher was Bobby Miller, who continued with his good month of July. Three out of four were good starts, and two were official quality starts. Last night was one of those. He pitched 6.0 innings allowing only 4 hits, and ZERO walks. He retired the first thirteen batters in order, but allowed a single and a one out 2-run HR for the Travelers only 2 runs. He also had 11 Ks. 11 strikeouts and 0 walks. That’s a good night even if you do give up a 2-run HR.

Diego Cartaya was the hitting star with two 2-run HRs. He now has 8 HRs at Great Lakes and 17 for the season, with 56 RBIs in 68 games, 264 AB. Michael Busch had a three hit night with his 12th OKC HR. He has 23 HRs for the season with 69 RBIs.

Jeff Dominique

The Reds have traded Tyler Naquin and minor league reliever Phillip Diehl to NYM for a pair of low minors prospects, right-hander Jose Acuña and second baseman Hector Rodríguez.

Badger

Ruebeck will be 22 soon. He’s listed at 6’ 185. I’d like to see what he can do against better hitters.

Rios 0 for 1, HBP and a K. He also made 2 errors at third. He’s got a ways to go.

May looks good. I would still be very cautious with him. I’m sure the Dodgers know what they’re doing, but approaching 100 this early feels dangerous to me.

While the Dodgers roll, the Rockies look awful.

Ohtani. They say the top 4 prospects. Jessica said “do it”. What say all of you?

Jeff Dominique

For the Dodgers that would be:
Diego Cartaya, Bobby Miller, Michael Busch, Andy Pages.

Sure, if Ohtani would agree to an extension. Otherwise, just like Soto, wait until he is a FA after next year. A year sooner than Soto. You also need to remember, the Dodgers brought out Clayton Kershaw to meet with Ohtani before he signed with LAA, and he had no desire to play for LAD. I remember that Kershaw was more than a little miffed that he came out to LA instead of staying in Dallas with his family for what became a no chance FA signing.

May threw 46 pitches. He could have 5-6 more starts before the beginning of September. He threw effortless last night, and hit 99.9 with movement. Is it really a stretch to think he can get to 75 pitches with 5-6 more starts?

The playoffs for the Dodgers do not start until October 11 or 12. It is conceivable that both May and Buehler will be ready at that time. I am not saying it is probable, but it is conceivable. It has been 14.5 months since May’s TJ surgery. Yes the Dodgers will be careful with both May and Buehler. They have a tendency to be very cautious. But for many, it is more likely that May and Buehler could be pitching in the playoffs than Max Muncy providing a power bat. May and Buehler may not be starters in October, or they could be a pretty powerful piggyback option. I think a Buehler/May piggyback option would be a solid playoff rotation pitcher. I would have no problem facing Jacob de Grom or Corbin Burnes or Max Fried or Adam Wainwright with that option. Maybe a second piggyback with Gonsolin/Heaney? The Dodgers could have a lot of options come October 11.

Maybe that is why most of the “MLB Insiders” (whoever they are) have stopped listing LAD as a possible landing spot for Castillo or Montas.

Badger

Well spoken Jeff.

I would love to see either or both of those guys in Dodger Blue, but I also want to see our 4 top prospects under team control for 5 years. At least three of them. I’d trade Busch in the right deal. Maybe things will look differently on the FA market in 2-3 years.

I would still like to see our staff get some time off in the coming weeks. I believe a 6 man rotation would be beneficial to all of them. With our Division lead, do we become cautious? We wore them out last year chasing the giants. Doesn’t appear that will happen again. SD is chasing us, more likely chasing a Wild Card slot. On this day, even after reading about May’s success, I still want more pitching. I think I would also like to improve Lamb’s roster spot. His 3 Ks had me shaking my head, then he hit one 414’. I’d prefer a DH we leave in there every night, but I know the Dodgers don’t do business that way.

Last edited 4 months ago by Badger
Singing the Blue

Ohtani had no desire to play for the Dodgers because the DH wasn’t available. Kershaw was upset because he thought Ohtani could have been straight with him rather than making him come all the way out from Dallas to say no thanks.

I would be very surprised if Ohtani said no Dodgers this time around. He likes to be comfortable. He’s comfortable in Southern California and now he can DH in the NL.

Not saying we would be the favorites but I can’t believe he wouldn’t at least be interested this time around.

That is unless Rendon has been bending his ear about the “Hollywood life style” and boy weren’t we lucky that he didn’t want to come here.

Bluto

Dodgers2080 interviews Ronan Kopp.

Dustin over @DodgersDigest is super high on Ronan.

Harold Uhlman

Bluto – Jeff and I are really high on Ronan too.

MiLB – Meet Ronan Kopp

Fred Vogel

Newest proposal from Bowden (The Atlantic):

The Trade: Soto and C Keibert Ruiz for C Diego Cartaya, INF Gavin Lux, RHP Bobby Miller and OF Andy Pages

The Nationals got the wrong catching prospect at the 2021 trade deadline when they acquired Ruiz instead of Cartaya in the deal for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner. However, they right that wrong in this proposed deal, which would send Ruiz back to the Dodgers with Soto, and move Cartaya, the Dodgers’ best prospect, to Washington. Likened during the Futures Game by National League manager Mike Scioscia to a combination of Buster Posey and Salvador Perez, Cartaya must be the headliner in a Dodgers deal for Soto. He’s by far their best position-player prospect, and with Will Smith on the big-league roster, he’s expendable.
The Nationals would also have to get Miller, the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect, who throws 100 mph and has 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings this season. Miller, 23, is 5-4 with a 4.36 ERA in 76 1/3 innings at Double A . His command still needs work but he has great upside. Meanwhile, Lux would immediately become the Nationals’ everyday shortstop and their long-term answer at the position. Pages would give them a corner outfield bat with 30-home run potential. The Nationals might insist on another infield prospect, such as Michael Busch or Miguel Vargas, but expanding this deal to include one of them would mean taking out the Ruiz/Cartaya portion, and I think that would be a mistake for Washington.

Bluto

I would do that trade, which is BONKERS-VILLE, in a milli-second.

Fred Vogel

I would too as long as T.Turner is signed long-term.

Badger

Will he sign long term?

I don’t trade for either of these guys unless they agree to stay here.

Last edited 4 months ago by Badger
Bumsrap

I just want Drury.

Fred Vogel

Jeff Dominique

So the idea is to take the team with the best record in MLB and change the dynamics. Where does Soto play. He is a RF. Mookie is a RF. Yes Mookie can play CF but not better than Bellinger. Yes Mookie can play 2B. But is the team better off with Mookie at 2B where he is not as gifted defensively just to make Soto happy and hurting two positions defensively?

I hate the idea of losing Gavin Lux. What if Trea Turner decides he would rather play back east? Philadelphia will be looking for a SS and will have $$$$ to spend. I doubt Atlanta makes the same mistake with Dansby Swanson that they made with Freddie. So if no Turner, no Lux, who plays SS? Jose Iglesias? Andrelton Simmons? Didi Gregorius? Please do not bring up the former cheater from Houston now with Minnesota.

What are the Dodgers going to do with Keibert Ruiz? The team is not going to carry three catchers. I am not buying moving Will Smith to 3B. Just because he played there occasionally at Louisville does not mean he can play there at the MLB level. Perhaps there was a reason he was switched to catcher???? So that is two more regressive defensive moves. 

The Dodgers pitchers like throwing to both Smith and Barnes. Why mess with the biggest strength the Dodgers have…pitching.

I like Juan Soto, but does it make sense to disrupt the best team in baseball to add Soto who is not having a very good year. The bWAR of Gavin Lux in 2.7 while it is 3.3 for Soto. 

You want a bat? Go get Josh Bell who can DH for the rest of the year. I know it is not the LAD way, but it gets a big bat in the middle of the order for a far smaller cost. Ian Happ or Garrett Cooper or JDM or Brandon Drury.

No. IMHO, if you are going to hemorrhage the farm, get Corbin Burnes, Dylan Cease, Shane McClanahan. Or for a tad less, Pablo Lopez or Shane Bieber. For a tad less, Luis Castillo or Tarik Skubal. For a tad less, Martín Pérez, or Merrill Kelly, or Cole Irvin.

But also IMHO, bring in quality relievers.

I am obviously in the minority here, but no I would not want to see the Dodgers do that deal. I do not want to lose Lux, and I see no reason to bring back Keibert Ruiz.

Fred Vogel

As I stated above:
“I would too as long as T.Turner is signed long-term.”

I would put Soto in left. Ruiz could be used as a very good trade chip. He was the main reason Trea and Scherzer came to L.A.

Trea and Soto are good buds. It would give Trea one more reason to sign an extension.

Jeff Dominique

My main objection to the proposed trade is the loss of Lux and the addition of Ruiz. I have no problem adding pitching (starting or relieving), and adding a bench bat. But I hate the idea of disrupting the chemistry of the best team in MLB this year. IMO, the Dodgers chances to win WS increase more with the addition of Luis Castillo and Felix Bautista/Jorge Lopez/John Schreiber than it does with Juan Soto. Now if trading for Juan Soto moves Trea Turner to sign an extension this year, that does change things.

Fred Vogel

I am a big Lux fan…offensively. I don’t think I’d want to see him as our everyday SS.

Badger

I’m a longtime Lux fan too. I wouldn’t want to see him traded. I’d be ok with him at short, but I would prefer Turner

Singing the Blue

There is no way that Andrew is including Lux in a Soto trade. I guarantee that. (Is there any way I can delete this on Tuesday if I need to?)

No Lux, probably no May, but I could see him including any of the other prospects we’ve been speaking about.

I agree with those of you who say we don’t need Soto. I wouldn’t be devastated if we got him but if AF let me make the decision, I’d say no.

If Passan is correct that it is now down to us and SD, I don’t think there is any way that Preller lets Andrew get the best of him again. And I think that would be just fine with Andrew as long as he makes Preller totally dismantle what’s left of his farm system. And while he’s at it, be sure he has to include Cronenworth also.

Bluto

Jeff is helping adding definition to why I called the Bowden thing Bonkers

Bluto

Jeff Passan on ESPN saying that Juan Soto is destined for SoCal. Either the #Padres or Dodgers. Wow.

Jeff Dominique

I am going with the Padres on this one.

Badger

Its being said Padres are going all out on this. I don’t see the move changing the standings, but it could make a difference in a short series.

Fred Vogel

I tend to agree. I’d pay good money to be in on all the trade discussions that AF is contemplating.

Jeff Dominique

Joc Pederson went on the 7-day IL (concussion protocol). He will miss the Dodgers series.

Bluto

Feinsand:

How crazy is the relief market with four days until the Trade Deadline? Per sources, the following teams are all out there looking for bullpen help:

Yankees, Blue Jays, Rays, Twins, Guardians, White Sox, Astros, Mets, Braves, Phillies, Cardinals, Brewers.

Obviously there are and will be others, but interesting….

Bluto

Passan has Castillo going to the Mariners for four (4) prospects. 

Rosenthal has the prospects:
Noelvi Marte, Levi Stoudt, Edwin Arroyo, Dylan Moore. Three of Mariners’ top five prospects, 

Jeff Dominique

It has not been announced by either team, but if that is the deal, Cincinnati did very well on trading Castillo. But Seattle made out well also. With J.P Crawford firmly entrenched at SS, Marte is blocked. Trade him for the best player in return. Arroyo is an 18 year old in low A. RHP Stoudt is 24 in AA, and Moore is a 22 year old RHP in low A.

I cannot see AF beating that deal.

Last edited 4 months ago by Jeff Dominique
Bluto

Yanks. Seattle reportedly beat out the Yanks. Reportedly.

Badger

Can they beat the asstros? Heck, get Soto too.

Bluto

Not sure I follow.

Jeff Dominique

The Mariners were supposedly in on Juan Soto. Now that they have traded 3 of their top 5, they do not have enough for Soto.

Badger

Well, how about the other 2 of their top 5, their numbers 6&7 and Kelenic?

What don’t you follow Bluto? I’d like to see the asstros get their asses kicked.

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