Ruf, Galvis and More …
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.