Phillies' newest outfielder shows off power in two-homer IronPigs debut

You can’t ask for a much better debut with your new team than what Ruben Cardenas was able to do.
Lehigh Valley IronPigs' outfielder Ruben Cardenas
Lehigh Valley IronPigs' outfielder Ruben Cardenas / Elsa/GettyImages

When the Philadelphia Phillies made a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays on June 6 to acquire minor league outfielder Ruben Cardenas, they knew they were getting a hitter with some slug in his bat.

He proved them right as soon as he put on his new uniform.

Phillies' newest outfielder shows off power in two-homer IronPigs debut

The heavy-hitting outfielder made his debut with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on June 8 and didn’t disappoint.

Cardenas erupted for three hits, including two home runs and a double, while driving in six runs and drawing a walk in a 9-3 victory against the Buffalo Bisons.

The ‘Pigs right fielder followed up his debut with another nice day at the plate on Sunday, going 1-for-2 with two walks, a stolen base and a run scored. He kept it going on Tuesday, with a 1-for-4 night and his third home run as an IronPig.

Cardenas has proven to be a successful hitter throughout his minor league career. The 26-year-old has spent six seasons in the minors with the Cleveland Guardians, the Rays and now the Phillies. He owns a .273 batting average, a .489 slugging percentage and an .835 OPS. He has 52 home runs and 158 RBI in 266 games since his first Triple-A appearance in 2022 and is on pace to have an impressive year this season.

Through 52 games with the Durham Bulls and now the IronPigs, Cardenas is hitting .292 with a .941 OPS, 14 home runs, 12 doubles, a triple and 35 RBI.

The IronPigs sit in ninth place in the International League East first-half standings with a 27-35 record, but Cardenas could be the spark to help turn the season around.

The Phillies could use some outfield help, so if Cardenas continues to showcase his power and discipline at the plate, he could be in line for his first taste of major league action in the near future. Until then, there might be a new fan favorite in Allentown.