Rising Star Zeb Ruddell: A Top Prospect to Watch at LSU

by Lily Stewart

In high-level college baseball, talent is never in short supply. But what truly sets an exceptional player apart is talent coupled with the combination of a strong work ethic and a strong mindset on the field. Zeb Ruddell, a rising super star who finished his freshman year at LSU before joining the Big Train for the summer, embodies both of these qualities and is ready to leave an indelible mark on the sport.


“For me, what sets me apart from other talented players is my work ethic and my mindset on the baseball field,” Ruddell says. His relentless commitment to honing his skills and approaching every game with the right mindset has become the cornerstone of his success.


At LSU, Ruddell finds himself surrounded by a group of highly talented individuals. The competition within the team has also served as a catalyst for pushing each other to excel. 


This past season, Ruddell had  the opportunity to witness the brilliance of Paul Skenes and Dylan Crews, two of the best players in college baseball who went 1-2 in the MLB Amateur Draft held earlier this month, which provided Ruddell with valuable insights into the level of preparation and dedication required to achieve greatness. 


“Watching those guys has helped me understand what it takes to be great,” he acknowledges. Their influence taught him the importance of consistency and sticking to a routine, regardless of performance. “When you have a bunch of talented players on one field, you really push each other and get the best out of everyone,” Ruddell explains.


This environment of excellence has allowed him to enhance his physical and mental tools, including his speed, strength, and ability to slow the game down when it is needed the most.


Of course, talent aside, transitioning from high school to college competition is daunting for any player . 


“The biggest challenge I have faced is the step up into college competition from high school,” Ruddell admits. 


Despite that, he has met this challenge head-on, investing countless hours of hard work and dedication to adapt to the challenges of the collegiate level. One of the key lessons he has learned is the importance of maintaining a composed mindset under pressure. By reminding himself that it’s the same game he grew up playing as a kid, Ruddell has developed the mentality to overcome the weight of expectations.


Looking back on his first season at LSU, Ruddell’s fondest memory thus far is the game against Tennessee that broke attendance records with a crowd of 13,000 fans on a Thursday night. The overwhelming support and electric atmosphere served as a powerful reminder of why he fell in love with the game in the first place. The  coaching staff has helped him hone his skills and he has embraced their advice on accepting his role within the team. Their wisdom has reinforced the significance of executing his responsibilities to contribute to the team’s success.


As he sets his sights on the future, Ruddell has a clear goal in mind: “Doing whatever it takes to help my team win another national championship.” To achieve this, he remains highly  motivated, determined to maximize his value as a player. The thought of becoming the best he can possibly be serves as a constant source of inspiration during the offseason.


Like any athlete, Ruddell has encountered setbacks, including Tommy John surgery when he was in high school. However, his determination and resilience have allowed him to bounce back stronger than ever. 


Reflecting on his long-term goals, he dreams of a successful career in Major League Baseball and ultimately aims to be recognized as a Hall of Famer. Moreover, he desires to give back to the sport that has shaped his life, using his experiences and knowledge to support and inspire younger generations of baseball players.

As the summer unfolds, Ruddell remains fully committed to his craft. His primary objective is to refine his skills and earn a starting position at LSU next season, while also cherishing the opportunity to forge new friendships and enjoy the game. But most importantly, he strives to lead Big Train to another championship. As the playoffs begin this weekend, Ruddell is in prime position to play a major role in doing just that.