With the red-hot spring that Darin Ruf is enjoying thus far for the San Francisco Giants, he could be forcing his way onto the team’s Opening Day roster.
So far, he has done just that.
With three doubles on Sunday, he is now hitting .455/.480/1.045(!) with four doubles, three home runs, and eight RBI in 22 at-bats.
Not a bad early impression for a guy trying to play his way onto the roster.
Once a promising young outfielder on the Philadelphia Phillies, Ruf has spent the past three seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization where he has hit .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI in 404 games.
It’s no wonder the Giants decided to take a chance on him with a minor league contract to see if he could force his way onto the roster during spring training.
At this point, one would have to think he has done enough to be one of the 26 players who breaks camp with the MLB team. His spring training numbers are truly great, and it’s no secret that the Giants are going to need all the help they can get on the offensive side of things.
Ruf would be an excellent bat to have off the bench, and with the ability to play first base as well as the corner outfield, he provides the versatility that is so valuable in the modern game.
Of course, there are cautionary tales when it comes to players lighting it up in spring training.
We all remember the spring that Chris Marrero had in 2017, only to be last just 41 plate appearances at before he was released on May 25.
It remains to be seen whether Ruf’s current success will translate into success during the regular season, but his production seems less fluky when you take into account those three terrific seasons in Korea.
At this point, Ruf has earned a spot on the team, unless there is a considerable drop-off in his production during the last few weeks of spring training. For the Giants’ sake, let’s hope his bat stays hot for a good long while.