Darin Ruf
Darin Ruf
33-Year-Old First Baseman1B
San Francisco Giants
2020 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Darin Ruf in 2020. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a minor-league contract with the Giants in January of 2020.
Reaches deal with San Francisco
1BSan Francisco Giants  AAA
January 23, 2020
Ruf signed a minor-league contract with the Giants on Thursday, Jayson Stark of The Athletic reports.
Ruf hasn't appeared in the big leagues since the 2016 campaign, as he's spent the last few years overseas in the KBO. He struggled to a .205 average with three home runs and nine RBI in 43 games with the Phillies in 2016; however, he's coming off a season in which he slashed .292/.396/.515 with 22 homers and 101 over 133 contests with the Samsung Lions.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Darin Ruf
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
September 4, 2016
Jan Levine explores his free agent waiver pickup options of the week in the National League with around a month left in the 2016 campaign.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
May 15, 2016
Jan Levine sifts through the available talent in the Senior Circuit and doesn't think you can overlook Marcell Ozuna any more, even in shallow formats.
Weekly Hitter Rankings: Giant Advantage for San Fran
April 30, 2016
Erik Siegrist breaks down his hitting rankings for the upcoming slate of games, highlighted by some attractive seven-game slates for the Blue Jays, Giants and Astros.
The Saber's Edge: Assessing Skills Growth, and Decline
April 28, 2016
Jeff Zimmerman analyzes hitters who have seen a skills growth or a skills decline this season and what it means for fantasy owners. Is time to give up on Justin Upton?
FanDuel MLB: Wednesday Value Plays
April 6, 2016
Adrian Gonzalez is off to another hot April, and RotoWire's Neil Parker explains how one of his teammates can make building a lineup much easier Wednesday.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Ruf opened last season in a platoon with Ryan Howard at first base. He failed to capitalize on Howard's early-season struggles by also getting off to a slow start at the dish. By mid-May he was headed back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and any chance of a return to the majors was thrown out the window by the emergence of Tommy Joseph at first base. Ruf did produce while back in Triple-A, hitting 20 home runs and crushing lefties to the tune of a .331 average and 1.013 OPS. He likely deserves another shot as a platoon option at first base, and he may get that chance with the Dodgers, who acquired him from the Phillies this offseason and could deploy him to rest Adrian Gonzalez against tough southpaws. He could also work his way into the short side of a left field platoon if Andrew Toles does not pick up where he left off in 2016.
Ruf saw limited action for the Phillies early last season, but benefited from increased playing time once the team benched Ryan Howard against lefties. Ruf was deserving of a shot as Howard's platoon partner after hitting .295 with three home runs and a .916 OPS against lefties in 2014. He was even more potent against lefties last season with a .371 average, eight home runs and a 1.107 OPS in 97 at-bats. The problem for Ruf is his struggles against righties when given opportunities. The Phillies will likely open the year with Howard and Ruf in a platoon again. If they can find a taker for Howard at some point, the team could give Ruf a shot as a regular at first. That makes him an interesting sleeper in leagues that go deep into the player pool.
Ruf was able to log some at-bats in the majors last season despite missing time with an oblique injury and a small fracture in his wrist. Manager Ryne Sandberg had planned to give Ruf a look at first base in place of the struggling Ryan Howard around midseason before Phillies management stepped in and forced him to reverse course. Instead, Ruf was used to occasionally platoon at first and in left. He was productive against lefties with three home runs and a .916 OPS in 61 at-bats, and should enter this season with a chance to fill a similar platoon role. Ruf did have some success against righties in 2013, and perhaps deserves a shot beyond a platoon role, but his defensive limitations and the current construction of the Phillies' roster will likely preclude him from receiving that shot.
Ruf joined the Phillies in July after Ryan Howard was lost for the season with a knee injury. He saw time at first base and in left field before the Phils turned right field over to him following the release of Delmon Young. Ruf hit 14 home runs in his 251 at-bats, displaying the power production that put him on the prospect radar in 2012, when he hit 38 home runs at Double-A. His .247 average last season was OK, but that was inflated a bit thanks to a slightly high BABIP. His low contact rate and lofty strikeout rate mean that his batting average will likely be a liability. Ruf enters the 2014 season as a reserve after the Phillies signed Marlon Byrd to be their everyday right fielder. It is not ideal for Ruf's value entering the season, but he could see plenty of playing time if Howard or Byrd miss time in 2014. Even if both stay healthy, Ruf should be able to accumulate around 300 at-bats by making occasional starts in the corner-outfield spots, first base, and as a DH during interleague play.
Ruf earned the nickname "Babe" last season after crushing 38 home runs for Double-A Reading as a 26-year-old. He received a cup of coffee in September and hit three home runs in 33 at-bats with the Phillies. Ruf then went on to play in the Venezuelan Winter League where he continued to hit bombs at an impressive rate. The Phillies are working to convert Ruf to left field as he is blocked at first base by Ryan Howard. Reviews of his defense have been mixed thus far, but the Phillies have seen enough promise to continue with the conversion. Ruf has always been old for his level in the minors since being drafted out of Creighton in 2009. That raises some red flags about his ability to keep hitting in the majors. The Phillies are expected to give Ruf a chance to earn a roster spot this spring. He'll be an interesting sleeper if he wins a job.
More Fantasy News
Contract sold to KBO club
1BFree Agent  AAA
February 17, 2017
Ruf signed a one-year, $1.1 million deal with the Korea Baseball Organization's Samsung Lions on Friday, Yonhap News Agency reports.
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Traded to Dodgers
1BLos Angeles Dodgers  AAA
November 11, 2016
Ruf was traded to the Dodgers on Friday along with Darnell Sweeney in exchange for Howie Kendrick.
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Hits bench Monday
1BPhiladelphia Phillies  AAA
September 5, 2016
Ruf is out of the lineup Monday against the Marlins, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia reports.
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Gets third straight start in left field
1BPhiladelphia Phillies  AAA
September 4, 2016
Ruf will start in left field for the third straight game Sunday against the Braves, MLB.com reports.
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Recalled from Triple-A
1BPhiladelphia Phillies  AAA
September 2, 2016
Ruf was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday.
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