Justin Ruggiano

Justin Ruggiano

41-Year-Old OutfielderOF
 Free Agent  
2024 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Justin Ruggiano in 2024. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a minor league deal with the Giants in December of 2016.
Granted release Tuesday
OFSan Francisco Giants  
July 25, 2017
Ruggiano opted out of his minor-league deal with the Giants and will become a free agent, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
ANALYSIS
Ruggiano struggled in his 63 plate appearances with the Giants this season (.217 average) and was subsequently designated for assignment in early June. The 35-year-old initially accepted his assignment to Triple-A but has ultimately decided to opt out of his deal. He'll look to pick up with another organization if possible.
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2017
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Ruggiano spent most of the early portion of 2016 in the minors and suffered from a couple different injuries once he got called up, limiting his 2016 campaign to just 56 games and only nine in the majors. The 34-year-old actually looked surprisingly good at the plate, albeit in limited work, hitting .333 with a pair of home runs in 24 at-bats combined between the Rangers and Mets. Ruggiano's season was cut short, though, as he went under the knife for shoulder surgery in mid-September, which could put his availability for the beginning of spring training in question. The outfielder found a home with San Francisco on a minor league deal. Even though he's hit pretty well over the past few seasons when given the chance, he'll likely be a fourth or fifth outfield option if he's able to crack the Giants' 25-man roster out of the spring.
Ruggiano came from the Mariners to the Dodgers on August 31 and quickly paid dividends for his new club, hitting .291/.350/.618 in 21 games following the trade. He did most of his damage against left-handed pitching, posting wide platoon splits - .301/.370/.578 vs. LHP and a meager .143/.265/.262 vs. RHP. Ruggiano has hit as many as 18 home runs in a season (2013), the same year that he swiped 15 bases in what will likely go down as a career year with the Marlins. Ruggiano turns 34 in April, and is unlikely to again be a big league regular, but his ability to hit left-hand pitching should win him a role as a backup outfielder in Texas after he signed a one-year deal with the Rangers.
The Cubs thought they were getting a power/speed threat when they signed Ruggiano last January. Though he hit .281 with six home runs in 2014, injuries -- particularly an ankle injury suffered in August -- limited him to just 81 games last year. He was traded to Seattle in the offseason where he'll compete for playing time in right field. Perhaps the change of scenery can revive his career.
Though he slipped into a reserve role for spells of the 2013 season, thanks in part to a poor .224 batting average, Ruggiano continued to put up a tasty combination of power and speed, slugging 18 home runs with 15 steals over 424 at-bats. He finished second on the team in home runs, runs, RBI and steals, appearing in just 128 contests -- though that games played total was also, oddly, second-most on the team as well. Ruggiano's average dipped sharply (down 89 points from .321 in 2012) largely due to a 150-point drop in his BABIP (.401 in 2012 down to .260 in 2013). If the batted-ball luck lands somewhere in the middle and Ruggiano can fend off the young talent in the Cubs' system, he remains an intriguing player to monitor with a combination of skills to be an impact player. More likely, he'll work as a part-time player in a platoon, seeing the bulk of his at-bats against left-handed pitching.
One of the lone bright spots in an otherwise disappointing season for the Marlins, Ruggiano returned to the big leagues in late May after putting up a .321/.409/.581 line at Triple-A and never looked back. Entering the year, Ruggiano had posted a paltry .621 OPS over 195 at-bats across parts of three seasons with the Rays before busting out with a .313/.374/.535 line for Miami over 288 at-bats in his age-30 season. His .909 OPS would have ranked fifth among outfielders had he collected enough at-bats to qualify. He'll enter the season as the favorite to start in center field for the Marlins and there is an intriguing power-speed combination here, but regression seems likely given his low contact rate (71 percent) and extremely high BABIP (.403) in 2012.
Ruggiano played most of the season with the Rays as a reserve outfielder, getting the starting nod here and there as needed. He once again spent time down at Triple-A Durham posting a .896 OPS with seven home runs and 12 stolen bases in only 168 at-bats. However, he struggled with the big club when given the opportunity finishing with a .673 OPS and 26 strikeouts in only 105 at-bats. Ruggiano, now has the "Quad-A" label, and he will fight for a bench spot with Houston after signing a minor league deal with the Astros in February.
Ruggiano spent another season at Triple-A Durham last year, buried beneath a pile of outfield prospects. For the second straight season at Durham, he recorded 15 home runs while stealing at least 22 bases. Despite the glut of outfield options for the Rays, there's a chance he could make the team with a strong spring as a reserve outfielder. If that doesn't happen, look for him to spend another season at Triple-A.
Ruggiano had a solid but unspectacular year at Triple-A Durham hitting 15 home runs and stealing 22 bases. He strikes out too much (146 times in 468 at-bats) and at 28 in early April, shouldn't be considered much of a prospect. The best-case scenario has him as a fourth or fifth outfielder but he'll likely end up at Durham.
Ruggiano's speed and defense helped the Rays in spots last season, but he's yet to prove he can consistently hit big league pitching. He may be in the mix for the right field job or (more likely) a fourth outfielder role in spring training, but he's not a lock to make the Opening Day roster.
Ruggiano had put up good numbers at Triple-A Durham before he was called up in September as an emergency injury replacement. However, given the logjam in Tampa Bay's outfield, Ruggiano is a long shot to make the team as a fourth outfielder, and his quickest ticket to the majors might include a trade to another organization. He's clearly got some potential, as he started for Team USA at the World Cup in November.
More Fantasy News
Designated for assignment
OFSan Francisco Giants  
June 2, 2017
Ruggiano was designated for assignment on Friday, Alec Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
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Joins lineup Thursday
OFSan Francisco Giants  
May 25, 2017
Ruggiano is batting seventh and playing right field Thursday, Alec Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
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Hits first homer of 2017
OFSan Francisco Giants  
May 14, 2017
Ruggiano went 1-for-3 with a solo home run during Saturday's win over Cincinnati.
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Contract purchased from Triple-A
OFSan Francisco Giants  
May 6, 2017
Ruggiano had his contract purchased from Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
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Off to sluggish start this spring
OFSan Francisco Giants  
March 9, 2017
Ruggiano (shoulder) is 1-for-15 with one walk and nine strikeouts through seven spring games.
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