Name: Darin Ruf
Height: 6′ 3″
Drafted: 20th round, 2009 Draft (Creighton University)
Pre Draft Report:
Drafted as a college senior out of Creighton University in 20th round. He had great numbers in college but really didn’t project as much more than a good organizational first baseman.
After signing Ruf spent a short time in the GCL before being sent up to the NYPL. He put up solid numbers but showed more doubles power than the ability to hit home runs consistently.
Ruf was sent to LKW to start the 2010 season and was promoted to Clearwater after 115 ABs. He put up solid hitting numbers with a good average and solid doubles power. In 2011 the Phillies sent him back to Clearwater where his slugging went up by 50 points as he hit an impressive 17 home runs in a notoriously bad league for hitters. His walk rate also improved a greatly as he put up a .308/.388/.506 stat line.
In 2012 Ruf opened the season playing for Reading and from April to July he put up good but not spectacular numbers. In August he had a historical month hitting 20 home runs and a stat line of .362/.422/.966 overall for the month. He ended the season with a stat line of .317/.408/.620 with a minor league leading 38 HRs, he hit another home run in the playoffs before Reading was eliminated. After the AA playoffs he was called up the big leagues where he hit .333/.351/.727 in 33 ABs adding 3 more home runs bringing his season total to 42 HRs. He earned the Paul Owens Award for the best player in the Phillies minor league season. Towards the end of the season the Phillies began playing him in left field. Baseball America rated him the #9 prospect in the system going into 2013.
Scouting Report: Below is an assessment of Ruf’s raw tools, rated on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale. The grades are my estimation based on what I’ve read and those I’ve talked to. The second number is a future projection, the first number is the current assessment
Hit For Average: 45
Hit For Power: 65
Fielding: 30/40 (LF) – 45 (1B)
Throwing Arm: 50
Summary: Ruf is really a first basemen only and his range will be a huge liability in the outfield despite improvements in his route running. His hit tool projects to be a bit below average at the major league level but the real question is how much it will allow his raw power to play.
Upside: Ruf has always been old for his level but so far has excelled at each level. There is no real good comparison for a player with similar success at each level so he will have to prove it at the major league level. His power could allow him to stick in the majors if his hit tool allows him to make enough contact against advanced pitchers. Physically he may be able to slim down and gain some speed but he is otherwise a finished product with little room for projection. He is not an outfielder and is best suited for first base or DH. His likely major league future is as a platoon player or bench bat but there is a non-zero chance that he can continue a fraction of his AA season to be a major league starter for a few years.
Profile updated: 3/10/2013