A year ago Darin Ruf's name shot through the sky every time he sent a baseball over a minor league fence. After an impressive September call-up it appeared as though the Philadelphia Phillies had a legitimate prospect on their roster. One year later, this native Nebraskan continues to prove his major league worth.
The 27-year-old's ability to have played three different positions (first base, left field, right field) is actually more impressive than his home run per at bat ratio (1 per 14.46) this season. Hardly seen as a Gold Glove candidate, the fully coachable power-hitter has embraced whatever has been asked of him.
Everyone knows that an employee's ability to be 'flexible' matters to management. In Ruf's case, he's clearly demonstrated that he's grateful for his job and that will do whatever it takes to stay on the chartered plane. Smart workers have a way of creating space for themselves within any honest company.
'Babe Ruf' has been willing to learn how to play two outfield positions. Instinct indicates that he'll also be open to making the necessary plate adjustments, which will enable him to become a consistent hitter at this level.
It's challenging to know who will be wearing red pinstripes when the next October dance is scheduled in Philadelphia. Ruf's breathtaking rise through the farm system and his subsequent performance since the end of last season, clearly offer Ruben Amaro, Jr. and Ryne Sandberg a variety of options heading into next season.
Yes, the hopeful assumption seen above does project that the general manager, manager and emerging core player will all remain connected through 2014.