31-Year-Old First Baseman – Free Agent
2018 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Darin Ruf in 2018. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Darin Ruf Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $1.1 million contract with the Samsung Lions of the Korea Baseball Organization.
Ruf signed a one-year, $1.1 million deal with the Korea Baseball Organization's Samsung Lions on Friday, Yonhap News Agency reports.
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Darin Ruf: MLB Games Played By Position
Darin Ruf Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Darin Ruf Defensive Stats
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Darin Ruf: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Darin Ruf.
Ruf opened last season in a platoon with Ryan Howard at first base. He failed to capitalize on Howard's early-season struggles by also getting off to a slow start at the dish. By mid-May he was headed back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and any chance of a return to the majors was thrown out the window by the emergence of Tommy Joseph at first base. Ruf did produce while back in Triple-A, hitting 20 home runs and crushing lefties to the tune of a .331 average and 1.013 OPS. He likely deserves another shot as a platoon option at first base, and he may get that chance with the Dodgers, who acquired him from the Phillies this offseason and could deploy him to rest Adrian Gonzalez against tough southpaws. He could also work his way into the short side of a left field platoon if Andrew Toles does not pick up where he left off in 2016.
Ruf saw limited action for the Phillies early last season, but benefited from increased playing time once the team benched Ryan Howard against lefties. Ruf was deserving of a shot as Howard's platoon partner after hitting .295 with three home runs and a .916 OPS against lefties in 2014. He was even more potent against lefties last season with a .371 average, eight home runs and a 1.107 OPS in 97 at-bats. The problem for Ruf is his struggles against righties when given opportunities. The Phillies will likely open the year with Howard and Ruf in a platoon again. If they can find a taker for Howard at some point, the team could give Ruf a shot as a regular at first. That makes him an interesting sleeper in leagues that go deep into the player pool.
Ruf was able to log some at-bats in the majors last season despite missing time with an oblique injury and a small fracture in his wrist. Manager Ryne Sandberg had planned to give Ruf a look at first base in place of the struggling Ryan Howard around midseason before Phillies management stepped in and forced him to reverse course. Instead, Ruf was used to occasionally platoon at first and in left. He was productive against lefties with three home runs and a .916 OPS in 61 at-bats, and should enter this season with a chance to fill a similar platoon role. Ruf did have some success against righties in 2013, and perhaps deserves a shot beyond a platoon role, but his defensive limitations and the current construction of the Phillies' roster will likely preclude him from receiving that shot.
Ruf joined the Phillies in July after Ryan Howard was lost for the season with a knee injury. He saw time at first base and in left field before the Phils turned right field over to him following the release of Delmon Young. Ruf hit 14 home runs in his 251 at-bats, displaying the power production that put him on the prospect radar in 2012, when he hit 38 home runs at Double-A. His .247 average last season was OK, but that was inflated a bit thanks to a slightly high BABIP. His low contact rate and lofty strikeout rate mean that his batting average will likely be a liability. Ruf enters the 2014 season as a reserve after the Phillies signed Marlon Byrd to be their everyday right fielder. It is not ideal for Ruf's value entering the season, but he could see plenty of playing time if Howard or Byrd miss time in 2014. Even if both stay healthy, Ruf should be able to accumulate around 300 at-bats by making occasional starts in the corner-outfield spots, first base, and as a DH during interleague play.
Ruf earned the nickname "Babe" last season after crushing 38 home runs for Double-A Reading as a 26-year-old. He received a cup of coffee in September and hit three home runs in 33 at-bats with the Phillies. Ruf then went on to play in the Venezuelan Winter League where he continued to hit bombs at an impressive rate. The Phillies are working to convert Ruf to left field as he is blocked at first base by Ryan Howard. Reviews of his defense have been mixed thus far, but the Phillies have seen enough promise to continue with the conversion. Ruf has always been old for his level in the minors since being drafted out of Creighton in 2009. That raises some red flags about his ability to keep hitting in the majors. The Phillies are expected to give Ruf a chance to earn a roster spot this spring. He'll be an interesting sleeper if he wins a job.