Phils’ Circumstances Could Benefit Prospect Ruf – Phillies Nation

Phils’ Circumstances Could Benefit Prospect Ruf

He leads the Double-A Eastern League in home runs (23) and OPS (.961), ranks second in RBI (72) and is seventh in batting average (.306), but Reading Phillies first baseman Darin Ruf has done all of this without much consideration as a real contender to join the Phillies’ major league roster.

A 20th round draft selection in 2009 out of Creighton University, Ruf signed quickly with the Phillies and made an immediate impact, posting a .307/.383/.472 line in 57 combined games with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters. He followed that up with a .290/.363/.451 campaign at two levels with Class A Lakewood and Class A Advanced Clearwater in 2010. Last year, Ruf batted .308 with 17 HR and 82 RBI in 133 games while spending the whole season with Clearwater.

Increasingly productive numbers aside, the 6-foot-4-inch 230-pound Ruf has never been considered among the Phillies’ top ranked prospects. Without regard for what others think of him, the 26-year-old has begun to transform himself from a virtual afterthought into an individual that fans have begun to clamor for, as sports radio callers and social networking enthusiasts have been singing his praises of late.

The five-time defending National League East division champions could have a silver lining-like luxury being in last place, 18 games behind division leading Washington. With the Phillies clearly out of contention for a playoff berth, the organization might have the unusual flexibility that would be necessary to allow an up-and-comer like Ruf to get a shot at the big league level. In recent years, the club has mainly used September call-ups in limited roles, but a lackluster 2012 could present an opportunity to expand on that a bit and allow Ruf, who has played some left field for the R-Phils this season, to display how his talents might translate at the highest level of the game.

Ruf, who typically says he only focuses on his own game and not on things that aren’t under his control, such as his place in the system and which roster he is a part of, opened up regarding the possibility of a call up, once the big league rosters expand in September, acknowledging the Phils’ obsequious status in the process.

“It crosses my mind a little bit. The Phillies are in a little bit of a different situation than they have been in other years I’ve been in the organization. But, you know, if that opportunity presents itself, I would absolutely jump at the opportunity and take advantage of any chance I might get”, Ruf candidly told this week.

Although, the right-handed slugger reverts to a reserved state of mind while looking forward to potentially playing winter ball and getting an opportunity with the Phillies next year in spring training, he has also confidently expressed his desire to move upward in a more expeditious manner.

“I’d like to think that I can compete and carry myself where ever I go,” Ruf stated. “It’s all a game of adjustments and even this year I’ve had to adjust throughout the course of the year. As long as I keep learning and adapting my game, I think I can compete at any level.”

With the ability to acclimate his approach as well as some added versatility after having played a dozen games in the outfield this year, Ruf may be knocking on the door to the big leagues. Whether or not the Phillies change their usual mindset and invite him in remains to be seen.


Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider.  You can read more from Jay by visiting his site,

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    August 9, 2012 at 8:56 am

    He needs to play the outfield. Face it, he is another Phil’s prospect who is blocked by Howard and his immense salary.

    • Ryne Duren

      August 9, 2012 at 9:09 am

      yea bart couldn’t agree more! it’s a shame cause if you look up and down our minors some of our players with power are all mostly 1st basemen. you would at least think that knowing howard was going to be tied up for 5 yrs after his last contrct which they extended what 2yrs ago? that they would have made it a priority to draft high cieling baseball smart player at the other positions and not those famous toolsie players. i mean look we traded singleton. and if they didn’t sign howard he could have been a player they could have moved right up after howard got hurt.

  2. Manny

    August 9, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Sit Howard in September and let him play 1B. If he impresses, he becomes a valuable piece and you could trade him. Or groom him for LF in the offseason. (I think Brown should play CF or RF.)

    • Ryne Duren

      August 9, 2012 at 11:21 am

      there ya go manny! my thoughts also! now we’re thinking with ouir dipsticks! lol.

  3. Mark

    August 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    A fan, not a player, of baseball. Basketball’s my thing. So my question: why can’t a 1st baseman play 3rd? Same distance from home plate and if his arm is strong enough for left field he could make the throw across the diamond.

  4. betasigmadeltashag

    August 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    That was my first question can he play RF or LF or 3rd base. I like what Brown has been doing this time around he seems to have a better focus and changed his swing a bit. I think he may become a decent MLB player. And though I wish JMJ would have stepped up this year I think he is a fourth outfielder on this team which really would not be a bad guy to have on the bench. It would be nice to have another young bat that can play the outfield. And if Ruff can be a 270 18 HR 75 rbi guy in the bigs you may be able to have a CF in JMJ that hits 230 with some power. And it would save a bunch of money to get a 3rd basemen like Headly. Some times these guys that did not get all the hype become really good baseball players because they have to work harder and nothing is given to them. Just my two cents

    • Devin

      August 10, 2012 at 2:41 am

      No team will ever contend for a World Series with John Mayberry Jr. as the starting center fielder. I’d love to have Ruf in left field, if he can stick there, but you use that money you saved in left to get a CF that’s not JMJ. mAAAAyberry is not a real major league baseball player.

  5. arminius

    August 10, 2012 at 10:44 am

    If Dom Brown can play center or right maybe Ruf can play left. However, I think we would have a very shaky outfield. After all, we won two World Series with Greg Luzinski and Pat Burrel playing left field.

    • Ken Bland

      August 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      Yo, arminius…

      You must have the privelege of youth on your side.

      Bullzinski wasn’t out to pasture quite yet, but the tide was turning right at the time the Phils won in 80.

      Lonnie “Skates” Smith was making it quite hard for Dallas Green not to play him, and play him, he did on a rotating type basis (both were righties, so it wasn’t a platoon.

      Bull was an awesome hitter at his peak. Average and power. Lonnie has 4 World Series rings, and believe me, it was no coincidence. Maybe it was 3, ask me if I care. He was good, fun to watch, and interesting to watch when he ran the bases, or fielded where he most deservedly earned the name moniker Skates.

      • arminius

        August 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm

        Ken, I was young at the time but I do not remember Lonnie as being a very good outfielder either.

  6. Ryne Duren

    August 10, 2012 at 11:15 am

    arminius can’t agree more. allthough i i think it wouldn’t take much to be better than luzinsle, burrel, or ibanez. if he can play a respectable LF and we moved brown to center which by the way when he was at LHV he said he felt more comfortable there. all we have to do is sign a FA outfielder. our outfield would be better offensively. plus it would give more time for the next wave of OF’s coming up. castro gillies etc etc.

    nevt on my list would be a 3rd baseman. headley? he would buy time for guys we have that are 2-3 yrs away. the padres don’t want vets they’re looking for younger players. dump KK, and bastardo and possibly a minor leaguer. and get him . the KK and tony B have pitched it’s not hard to replace guys that suck! i’d trade a pitcher for an everyday player in a heartbeat!

    • George

      August 10, 2012 at 11:30 am

      I doubt seriously if the Padres would even consider trading Headley for a proven mediocrity (overpaid, too) like Kendrick, and an inconsistent relief pitcher like Bastardo, even if a minor leaguer is included. You said yourself they suck.

      • c schreiber

        August 10, 2012 at 5:49 pm

        If Rube was GM of Padres he’d make that deal..but he’s not, so there’s no chance.

  7. JP Richter

    August 10, 2012 at 11:39 am

    You need to look up the meaning of the word “obsequious.”

  8. SavannahPhilliesPhan

    August 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I don’t understand….according to Jay Floyd all these great players are blocked out. They knew we would need to replace Polanco sooner rather than later, why haven’t they taken one of these blocked players and moved them to play other positions….like 3rd base…?

  9. short stories

    August 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    I do agree with all the ideas you have offered for your post. They’re very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are too brief for novices. Could you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

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