Philadelphia Phillies: Why They Should Be Excited About Darin Ruf
If you are a Philadelphia Phillies fan, you have to be excited about the prospect of Darin Ruf smashing home runs in Citizens Bank Park in the near future.
He had an outstanding year with Double-A Reading as he hit .317 with 38 home runs and 104 RBI.
This was really a breakout year for him in terms of power production as he more than doubled his career home run total.
Developments like this have earned him high praise from around Major League Baseball, and one scout had this to say about him when he spoke with Jayson Stark of ESPN.
He might be Matt Holliday. … I saw him eight or nine games. And I saw him hit everything... And defensively, I actually thought he was better in the outfield than he was at first base. He's an interesting guy.
As a matter of fact, when you look at Matt Holliday in the minor leagues, he also took a while to find his powerful swing. For Holliday's power breakout came when he was 26 and playing for the Colorado Rockies. He hit .326 with 34 home runs and 114 RBI.
Ruf obviously put up a very similar stat line in Double-A, so even though it is somewhat hard to compare performance between the different levels in the organization, at least the numbers are similar.
Conveniently, Ruf could also fill the void that the Phillies have in left field. Even though he has been primarily a first basemen throughout his minor league career, Ruf has spent some time in left field this past season. Obviously, the pathway at first base is going to be blocked for a long time with Ryan Howard, so if the Phillies want to use him, they will need to help him discover another position.
If he develops into Matt Holliday, the Phillies will have hit the jackpot. Even if he doesn't become quite that good, it seems as if he is going to be a very productive major league bat who will hit for a lot of power and produce runs. Nobody would complain about that either.
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