Giants fans may remember Justin Ruggiano hitting a grand slam for the New York Mets last year off of Madison Bumgarner in an exciting game in which the Giants won 10-7.
That was a bright spot in a very limited season for Ruggiano as he only received 26 big league plate appearances last year between the Mets and Texas Rangers.
He did very well in those at-bats picking up 8 hits and two walks. However, he also struck out 10 times in those 26 plate appearances.
He was mainly used as a right-handed bat off the bench as 20 of his plate appearances came against left-handed pitchers. Throughout his career he’s hit left-handed pitching very well with a .275 average and .338 on-base-percentage with 27 home runs in 499 at-bats.
The veteran has spent parts of eight seasons in the big leagues playing for the Rays, Marlins, Mets, Rangers, Dodgers, Cubs and Mariners. He has a career average of .258 and an on-base-percentage of .322.
He spent the majority of last season with the Mets and Rangers Triple-A affiliate where he hit just .229 in 175 at-bats with a .322 on-base-percentage and 7 home runs.
What makes Ruggiano so attractive is his ability to play anywhere in the outfield. He’s pretty much Grego Blanco with a little more pop in his bat from the right-handed side of the plate.
Ruggiano will be in competition with Mike Morse for the fifth spot in the outfield. Morse does have the versatility to play first base, but not center field. And with Posey and Belt handling the duties at first base, I don’t think Morse will be needed unless an injury occurs.