Alumni Update: Darin Ruf
Darin Ruf may ring a bell for some hardcore baseball fans. He played for the Wisconsin Woodchucks in 2007. The first baseman and outfielder made his professional MLB debut all the way back in 2012 and started out with a bang, but shortly after, he had to work through an injury and spent many seasons in the minors. As of recently, he has reemerged as a solid major league player. Now he is making waves for the second season in a row with the San Francisco Giants.
Ruf was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009. He spent his first three seasons playing in the minor league system. In 2012, he had a highly successful season with the Reading Phillies and was named the Eastern League MVP. He even earned the nickname “Babe Ruf”, leading all minor league baseball with 38 home runs, 104 RBIs, best on-base percentage, best slugging percentage, and 1.028 OPS. This earned him his major league debut in September, in which he totaled three home runs and 10 RBIs in 12 games.
Ruf’s success continued in 2013 where he was called up once again and finished fifth among major league rookies with 14 home runs. He competed for a roster spot in 2014 but suffered an oblique injury. After that, Ruf continued to fight for a roster spot, but stayed at the minor league level. He had a very successful Triple-A season in 2015, finishing second in the league with 20 home runs and being named an MiLB.com All Star. In 2016, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ruf spent the 2017 playing for the Samsung Lions of the KBO League in South Korea. He then was re-signed with the Dodgers for 2018 and 2019, playing in the minors once again. After that, Ruf signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants in 2020 as a free agent. He found his way back to the majors as he made the team’s opening day roster and finished the season with .276 batting average, five home runs, and 18 RBIs. The Giants extended Ruf into 2021.
So far, in 2021, Ruf has played a significant role in the Giants’ success. His name is now becoming more recognizable in the major league baseball world again. He has a .279 batting average, .401 on-base percentage, and .946 OPS. Ruf also has 15 home runs and 40 RBIs on the season. After nine seasons in the majors and minors, it is safe to say that Darin Ruf is experiencing a rebirth in his baseball career. Right now the Giants are in position to make the playoffs and are leading the National League West division, and Ruf continues to be a part of that. The Woodchucks are excited to watch Ruf’s continued success and wish him the best of luck!