Phillies: Darin Ruf finding success with Gabe Kapler, Giants

Darin Ruf, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Darin Ruf, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

Former Phillies slugger Darin Ruf has found success in his second MLB stint

After spending a few years in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), former Philadelphia Phillies slugging 1B/OF Darin Ruf has returned to Major League Baseball.

Signing a short-term, minor league contract with Gabe Kapler‘s San Francisco Giants this past offseason, the Giants went on to select Ruf’s contract and promote him to the big leagues.

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Ruf appears to be one of the few success stories coming out of the KBO. So far in the shortened 2020 season — playing at first base, left field, as as the designated hitter — Ruf Is slashing .276/.400/.310 with seven singles, one double, six RBI, six walks, and nine strikeouts spanning 29 at-bats.

So far, of his 13 games played in 2020, Ruf’s best game came in a 9-2 home win against the Texas Rangers on July 31. The former Phillie went 2-for-3 with a run scored, double, walk, and three RBI.

Another notable 2020 Ruf performance came in a 3-1 road win against the potent Los Angeles Dodgers on July 26. Then, Ruf went 2-for-4 with a run scored, RBI, walk, and stolen base.

The Giants are 6-7 with Ruf appears in a game; overall, the Kapler-led team is 8-13 and sit in last place, six games back of the first-place Dodgers, in the National League West division standings.

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In his final year with the Phillies — before being dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers in November 2016, with Darnell Sweeney in exchange for Howie Kendrick — Ruf slashed just .205/.236/.337 in 43 games.

Overall, in his five years in red pinstripes, Ruf posted a .240 batting average spanning 286 games, slugging 35 doubles, 35 home runs, and 96 RBI.

While it’s not yet known if Ruf will be able to continue his success so far with the Giants, it must feel good for him, who hoped to return to the majors one day following his overseas stint in Korea.