Philadelphia Phillies: 50 greatest players of all-time
Another one of the most beloved players in franchise history, Carlos Ruiz probably finishes a bit higher on this list than some would expect. Much of what Ruiz meant to the Phillies goes beyond his hitting numbers, and instead focuses on what he meant behind the plate.
The Phillies signed Ruiz in 1998 out of Panama with an $8,000 signing bonus. He didn’t make his big league debut until he was 27 years old.
Ruiz took over the everyday catcher duties in 2007 and was a better hitter than many remember. He hit 29 doubles with a .259 batting average and a .340 on-base percentage as a rookie, but didn’t receive any Rookie of the Year votes at age 28.
“Chooch”‘s defense emerged in 2008 and his ability to call a great game was obvious. Though he hit just .219 in the Phillies’ championship year, he managed a starting rotation led by a young Cole Hamels.
Through his 11 seasons with Philadelphia, Ruiz caught four no-hitters, including Roy Halladay’s perfect game. It’s the most no-hitters caught by a catcher in baseball history, showing how valuable Ruiz was behind the plate. He called excellent games and became a favorite of Halladay’s.
By 2015, Ruiz was one of the last remaining members of the 2008 club and had become one of the most beloved players in franchise history. He’s caught the fourth-most games in Phillies history and has the highest dWAR for a catcher in Phillies history.
Ruiz made two of the greatest plays by a catcher in Phillies history, sealing Halladay’s no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds and making the diving tag at home in the World Series. He also delivered the game-winning hit in game three of the 2008 World Series versus the Tampa Bay Rays.
Ruiz will be a Wall of Famer, along with several of his teammates. He will be regarded as one of, if not the best catcher in franchise history.