Darin Ruf hit over 50 combined home runs in one season of professional baseball last year. Just digest that for a moment. Apparently that power point went down well with the Philadelphia Phillies, because their most recent free agent signing appears to endorse this rising prospect’s immediate future.
For a majority of games (118) last season Delmon Young was the Detroit Tigers‘ designated hitter. But, he also played some games (31) in left field. Despite the fact that this 27-year-old hasn’t played regularly in right field since he was with the Tampa Bay Rays (then Devil Rays) in 2007, the Phillies plan to give this former number 1 overall (2003) draft pick a shot to win that job slot this spring.
It was smart to add a right-handed hitting veteran to Charlie Manuel’s outfield mix. Young has decent pop in his bat and had a good career fielding percentage (.985) when he manned Jayson Werth’s old position in the past. Due to his free agent acquisition, it appears as though Ruf will also be given a chance to occupy left field this season.
“Babe Ruf”, a nickname accurately bestowed upon him by his minor league teammates in 2012, might be one of the more remarkable stories in recent memory. This man wasn’t seriously considered to be a prospect at this time last year.
The 26-year-old set the minor league summer sky on fire last season by hitting 38 home runs, which broke Ryan Howard’s Double-A franchise record. Shockingly, 20 of those white hot comets soared in August.
As long as this former first baseman, who converted to left field late last summer, plays well in spring training he should make the 25-man roster. The likely plan will have him platoon with Laynce Nix (or possibly Domonic Brown?) to start the year.