Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fantasy Sleeper: Darin Ruf

We near closer to our finish on fantasy offensive pieces - we finish tomorrow with a DH for those of you with DH's in your league. So far we have looked at:

C   Rob Brantly
1B Paul Goldschmidt
2B Matt Carpenter
SS Zack Cozart
3B Lonnie Chisenhall
OF Nolan Reimold
OF Leonys Martin

Today we examine the LF position for the Philadelphia Phillies and who I believe has a great chance of winning the job: Darin Ruf. Ruf (pronounced 'rough') has taken on a bit of a cult following over the last year. As a late bloomer (he's 26), it is his time to make an impact. His minor league stat line from AA last year earned him a promotion to the majors, in which he hit 3 HR with limited plate appearances. The odds are against him, so I am going to cheat a little and make the fantasy pick the Phillies' LF with a preference for Ruf.

Let's look at the stat-lines for the candidates:
Ruf: (MiLB) .317/.408/.620 1.028 OPS .317/38 HR/104 RBI in 139 G; .333/3 HR/10 RBI in 12 MLB G
Mayberry Jr.:  .245/.301/.395 .695 OPS .245/14 HR/46 RBI in 149 G, 441 AB's
Brown: .235/.316/.396 .712 OPS .235/5 HR/26 RBI in 56 G, 187 AB's
Nix: .245/.315/.412 .727 OPS .245/3 HR/16 RBI in 70 G, 114 AB's

What is most likely to happen? A Nix or Brown platoon with Mayberry. Nix is making big-league $, which makes him likely to win over Brown. Mayberry's numbers against righties are much better. Baseball Reference places Mayberry with the best 162 game statistics. Platoons should be avoided, but Ruf might have a spectacular enough spring training to force the Phillies' hand - which would be better if they hadn't signed Delmon Young. I believe that the winner of this job will have to produce in order to keep it, making it a win for fantasy owners as well.

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