Ruf, Galvis and More …

Here is a look at some of the Phillies’ top position player prospects and how they are faring in the Arizona Fall League and Winter Ball:

Outfielder Darin Ruf.The Phillies are keeping a close eye on Ruf this winter. Why? Well, the Phillies need a corner outfielder in 2013, preferably one with power from the right side of the plate. Ruf could be that guy, and he would come tens of millions of dollars cheaper than a free agent currently on the open market. Ruf is hitting .250 with two doubles, nine home runs, 19 RBIs and a .994 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 21 games with Tiburones de La Guaira in Venezuela. He also hit .333 with two doubles, one triple, three home runs, 10 RBIs and a 1.079 OPS in 12 games with the Phillies following an unbelievable season in the minors. The Phillies want Ruf, who traditionally plays first base, to get more comfortable in the outfield. He has played 13 games there in Venezuela. While it is doubtful he will ever be a Gold Glove outfielder, if he hits it will not matter. Like Phillies manager Charlie Manuel says, if you hit, you will play.

Infielder Freddy Galvis.Galvis is hitting .338 with four doubles, one triple, three home runs, nine RBIs and a .909 OPS in 21 games with Aguilas de Zuila in Venezuela. The Phillies will have something nice if Galvis can hit big-league pitching next season, but 21 games in Venezuela is hardly a predictor of future success. Still, it beats the alternative. And it is encouraging to see following his 50-game suspension for using a performance enhancing substance and a back injury. If Galvis can hit a little bit, he could be a nice option at third base.

Outfielder Tyson Gillies.The Phillies still have high hopes for Gillies, who is hitting .385 with one double, one triple, two RBIs and a .948 OPS in seven games with Cardenales de Lara in Venezuela. Gillies could be an everyday centerfielder at some point (maybe as early as 2014), but he will never reach his potential if he can’t stay on the field. Injuries have hurt his progress.

Third baseman Cody Asche.Could this be the Phillies’ everyday third baseman in 2014? He could be, if he continues to hit. He is hitting .302 with nine doubles, one home run, nine RBIs and an .840 OPS in 18 games with Peoria in the Arizona Fall League.

Catcher Tommy Joseph.This is the key guy the Phillies got in the Hunter Pence trade with the San Francisco Giants. He has big-time ability and he could be Carlos Ruiz’s heir apparent behind the plate. He is hitting .162 with one double, two RBIs and a .433 OPS in 21 games with Peoria, but the Phillies are not concerned about his hitting. He missed some time in Arizona because of an illness, and many players in the AFL are exhausted at this point. That could be the case with Joseph. But big-league scouts and officials love the guy. They named him to the AFL’s All-Star Game anyway.

Outfielder Zach Collier.He is hitting .314 with three doubles, three triples, eight RBIs and an .880 OPS in 15 games in the AFL. The Phillies think he has a chance to be an everyday centerfielder, if he fulfills his potential. If not, they still like him as a fourth or fifth outfielder.

Catcher Sebastian Valle. He is hitting .235 with two doubles, two home runs, seven RBIs and a .741 OPS in 10 games with Caneros de los Mochis in Mexico. Joseph and Valle give the Phillies some good organizational depth behind the plate. It will be a good competition between the two, and it will be interesting to see where they play next season.


If the Phils can give Mayberry a half a season tryout, I hope they have the same patience with Ruf. At least Ruf has upside; Mayberry has already shown he is a 4th-5th outfielder only.

A half season? He played 104 games in 2011 and 149 last year. That’s almost as many games as B.J. Upton played.

Why do I keep reading that Ruin is fixated on BJ Upton? Looks as if if Ruin may be getting ready to change course from paying top dollar for broken down antiques to paying top dollar for mid-career under achievers.

I tend to agree. RAJ knows how to get the big guns – Halladay, Lee, Pence. But I haven’t seen an ability to acquire lower level, quality pieces.

A change of scenery will do BJU good. Here he can settle in behind the star core and, possibly, flourish, as Werth did. A smaller park, a better fan base, and a better organization, alongside teammates used to carrying the load could make a huge difference in his attitude and performance. The Phillies are apparently done with Vic and definitely need some speed and power, along with top defense in CF, so why not? He’s yournger and better than Bourn; younger and more durable than LHB Hamilton, and carrying fewer bags into the clubhouse.

The two lamest excuses for signing a player have to be “change of scenery” and “good guy in clubhouse”. Of course Upton would fall into the former. But from what I have gather he will be in the $75 million for 5 years range. Leave it to Ruin to coin a new baseball clique “high cost – high risk”.

pherris, the Sixers have already done that with Andrew Bynum and the Eagles with Michael Vick (high cost-high risk). Although they both can just let the players go at the end of the season.

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