Phillies alum Darin Ruf continues power surge in Korea


A failed career with the Phillies is being revitalized in Korea for Darin Ruf

Arriving to the Phillies as the farm system’s “Babe Ruth” the expectations were astronomical for Darin Ruf. Crushing 38 home runs in Double-A Reading Ruf jumped past Lehigh Valley and made his major league debut in 2012.

Much has changed for Ruf since his major league debut on Sept. 14; after bouncing between platooning in Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley the Phillies traded Ruf to the Dodgers in exchange for Howie Kendrick.

Ruf never recorded an at bat for Los Angeles and was released three months later to sign with the Samsung Lions in the Korean Baseball Organization. Despite moving to another country and playing with only two other American players, Ruf led the team with 31 home runs and the entire league with 124 RBIs.

With his success with the Lions Ruf is opting to stay in Korea for another season by signing a $1.5 million deal on Thursday.

It’s hard to imagine Ruf gets many opportunities to return to Major League Baseball at the age of 31 and the limited success in Philadelphia. Players have transitioned back into Major League Baseball after going overseas and seen success. Most recently the Milwaukee Brewers brought Eric Thames in on a whim after a three-year stint in Korea.

Thames hit 31 home runs for Milwaukee, 11 of which came in March and April thanks to an outstanding first half.

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Philadelphia hasn’t had much success or even really a history of bringing veterans back from international stints. If Ruf goes come back to Major League Baseball it’ll likely be a spring training invitation for an American League team looking for a diamond in the Ruf.