You would think when a player is hitting .313 with 34 home runs and 93 RBIs at the Double-A level, he would be a top prospect, but Philadelphia Phillies minor leaguer Darin Ruf has managed to stay under the radar. Ruf is challenging Ryan Howard’s single-season Reading Phillies record for home runs (Howard hit 37 for the 2004 club).
Ruf has numbers that make him arguably the best hitter in the entire Eastern League – he has a .404 on-base percentage, a .609 slugging percentage, and a ridiculous 1.013 OPS. Ruf has already hit 12 home runs in the month of August, and he hit seven home runs in one eight-game span. Ruf is already 26 years old so there’s really no point in delaying his progress in the minor leagues. He’s proven he can hit Double-A pitching, and while the team certainly should have called him up to the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs at some point recently, it’s probably time to call Ruf straight up to the majors.
He batted .308 with 17 home runs and a .894 OPS in high-A Clearwater in 2011, so he clearly can play in the minor leagues. The Philadelphia Phillies don’t have anyone locked down to win the starting left field job in 2013, although that job will likely go to Domonic Brown and John Mayberry, Jr. in a platoon. But it’s worth calling up Ruf when the rosters expand to 40 players in September to see what he can do for the big league club.