Player Review/Preview: Cameron Rupp


Sep 10, 2013; Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Cameron Rupp

Key 2013 stats (AA/AAA): 325 AB, 14 HR, .755 OPS, Caught Stealing: 34% (28 of 82)

What happened in 2013

Phillies’ backstop Cameron Rupp began his 2013 season in AA Reading. Despite playing a premium position he did not appear on most Phillies top prospect lists before the season began. However, Rupp’s stock improved greatly in a year when many other prospects battled injury and ineffectiveness.

In 41 games at AA Reading, Rupp mashed 8 HR in 161 plate appearances. In June he was promoted to AAA Lehigh Valley and in 53 games as an Iron Pig he crunched another 6 HR in 194 plate appearances. Rupp’s overall game impressed the Phillies Brass enough to make him one of their September call ups; he made his MLB debut eight days before his 25th birthday on September 10, 2013. He celebrated on the 10th by knocking in his first two RBI.

After his cup of coffee in the bigs Cameron was assigned to the Arizona Fall League where he acquitted himself quite well in 14 games. Great year, all things considered.

What to expect in 2014

Cameron Rupp is a big boy so I’d better say nice things about him.

How big?

He’s Texas big. Dude is just thick. He has tree trunk legs, burly shoulders and brawny arms. You can almost hear his batting helmet creaking as it struggles to remain on his humongous head. If the rules allowed it, he wouldn’t wear catcher’s gear at all and still no one would dare running him over at the plate.

I could hide behind him easily and you’d never know I was there — or the horse I rode in on.

Even his intangibles are tangible but I wouldn’t tange them if I were you.

His shadow stretches across two zip codes. Ok, that’s not exactly true unless he’s standing on the border.

Rupp is listed at 6’1″, 240 lbs. but if he’s still 240 after spending the holidays grazing in Texas then I’ll sell you the Ben Franklin Bridge. No worries, though. Rupp has worked hard to get his weight down before and that’s what New Year’s resolutions and Spring Training are for, right?

Rupp made the majors because of his defense, power and his knowledge of the game. He comes from a baseball family. I’m pretty sure the doctor who delivered him was wearing a mask and a mitt to receive him. He could probably swing a bat before he could speak.

In 2014 Rupp has several important things to work on. He is susceptible to being jammed on inside fastballs and he generally hacks at anything close, which leads to more strike-outs and fewer walks. Pitchers will avoid the heart of the plate at all costs and until Rupp lays off, his offense will suffer. He has a strong arm but not the quickest release as he has trouble getting out of his own way; he may be better off learning to throw more from his knees.

Cameron Rupp isn’t likely to beat out Wil Nieves or Lou Marson for the right to back up Carlos Ruiz. Yet if either one of them misses time, Rupp stands a decent chance of being recalled to back up the backup. However, if Marson sticks with the team and if Tommy Joseph can come back from his concussions, Rupp may find himself further down the depth chart in 2014 despite his solid advances in 2013.