When the Milwaukee Brewers traded Josh Hader to the San Diego Padres they got several pieces in return. Dinelson Lamet never factored into the teams plans, Taylor Rogers was a rental, Robert Gasser was a prized pitching prospect, and Esteury Ruiz was a known speedster. During the offseason first year GM Matt Arnold used Esteury Ruiz as a trade chip in a three team deal that netted him Willson Contreras and Joel Payamps. Esteury Ruiz went to the Oakland Athletics as a result.
In Oakland this year Esteury Ruiz has had the opportunity to play everyday as an outfielder. He did miss one month due to a shoulder injury, but entering play on the final day of the season he had a .253/.305/.345 slash line with five home runs, 46 RBI, and 66 stolen bases.
On the final day of the season Esteury Ruiz recorded his 67 stolen base of the year. This set a new American League rookie record for stolen bases in a season.
Former Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Esteury Ruiz sets stolen base record with the Oakland Athletics.
In 1992 Kenny Lofton swiped 66 bases as a rookie with Cleveland. Despite missing 30 games due to injury Esteury Ruiz was able to surpass him. Additionally the only other play in all of baseball with more stolen bases than Esteury Ruiz is Ronald Acuna with 73.
2023 was the first year of larger bases, pickoff limits, and a pitch clock. These rule changes certainly helped Esteury Ruiz, but he likely would have been in this conversation regardless given his speed and talent.
Follow me on Twitter @tylerkoerth. Follow us @WiSportsHeroics for more great sports content. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here!. We cover the Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, Wisconsin Badgers, and Wisconsin High School Sports. Additionally we provide the latest news coverage on the NFL, MLB, and NBA.