Rua has been excelling throughout the season in a platoon role, and has seen a solid dose of regular playing time since May 9. The 26-year-old has always hit lefties well, but has exploded against southpaws this season to the tune of a .472 wOBA, .250 ISO and a 31.7 percent hard contact rate over 61 plate appearances. He's enjoying a scorching June, slashing .342/.409/.711 over 38 at-bats, with four homers and 10 RBI. Three of those round-trippers have come over the last seven games, and in addition to the power, Rua also brings along some proficiency on the basepaths. He's a perfect 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts this season, and had a pair of double-digit stolen base campaigns in his minor league career as well.
In 430 plate appearances at the High-A level in 2013, Rua blasted 29 homers and he combined for 18 home runs at the upper levels of the minors the following season, so his bat comes with notable pop. Shin-Soo Choo's back, but Rua's ability to also play first base, where he's garnered seven starts, could keep him in the lineup as an outstanding alternative to Mitch Moreland against left-handed pitching. He's also played all three outfield positions, notched one game at third base, and can always be deployed as a designated hitter, furthering his prospects for continuing to see regular playing time for the rest of the season.
With his ability to contribute across virtually every category, he makes for an appealing option in a variety of formats at this stage of the season.
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