The Philadelphia Phillies have named first baseman Darin Ruf and starting pitcher Tyler Cloyd as the recipients of the 2012 Paul Owens award, the award given annually by the team to the top minor leaguers.
Ruf, 26, is the first baseman in Double-A, where he is turning in one of the most magical seasons by a Phillies’ minor leaguer in recent memory. He is competing for the Eastern League Triple Crown with a .317 batting average, 37 home runs and 98 runs batted in this season. His 37 home runs are more than any other minor league baseball player.
Cloyd, 25, was promoted to the major leagues today due to scheduled starter Cole Hamels having a gastrointestinal illness. He will make his major league debut against the New York Mets. Cloyd was not expected to be a top prospect, but he has pulled together a remarkable 15-1 season. He began the year in Double-A, where we went 3-0, before he was promoted to Triple-A, where he is 12-0. His combined 15-1 record with a 2.26 earned run average makes him a likely candidate to begin the 2013 season as the Phillies’ fifth starter. The team will likely keep him in the major leagues for the season’s final month, where he will be closely evaluated.
The Phillies are widely criticized for not having an impressive farm system, which is definitely true. But players like Ruf and Cloyd, no matter how old they are, could become impact players in the major leagues in a year or two, which would be huge for a Phillies team that ranks as one of the oldest in the major leagues.
This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for the Philadelphia Eagles and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.