Even with Delmon Young likely to start the year on the DL, I’m still not sure we’re going to see Darin Ruf playing a whole lot of left field in 2013, unless he demonstrates real soon he can handle the position defensively. Given that Ryan Howard plays first and will for a while, I’m not sure there’s anywhere else for him to play.

Either way, Ruf got 37 plate appearances with the Phils in 2012 and walked in just two of them, a walk rate of 5.4%. So should we be worried that he’s going to continue to drag down the Phillie walk rate in left field in 2013?

I don’t think so. First, cause I’m still not sure how much we’re going to see Ruf in left field in 2013 and second because he’s likely to walk a lot more than 5.4% if he’s given enough chances to hit.

Here’s how Ruf’s walk rates at various levels compare to fellow corner outfield candidates Domonic Brown and John Mayberry:

Darin Ruf
Year & Age Level PA BB%
2009 (22) Rk/A- 201 8.5
2010 (23) A/A+ 547 8.6
2011 (24) A+ 554 10.1
2012 (25) AA 583 11.1
All minors - 1,885 9.8
@ AAA - 0 -
Majors MAJ 37 5.4
Domonic Brown
Year & Age Level PA BB%
2006 (18) Rk 131 9.2
2007 (19) A-/A+ 328 8.8
2008 (20) A 516 12.4
2009 (21) Rk/A+/AA 454 10.8
2010 (22) AA/AAA 389 9.5
2011 (23) A+/AAA 195 15.4
2012 (24) Rk/AAA 261 7.7
All minors - 2,274 10.6
@ AAA - 531 10.0
Majors MAJ 492 10.4
John Mayberry
2005 (21) A- 302 8.6
2006 (22) A 533 11.1
2007 (23) A+/AA 548 8.8
2008 (24) AA/AAA 565 6.0
2009 (25) AAA 358 9.5
2010 (26) AAA 547 7.1
2011 (27) AAA 122 4.1
All minors - 2,975 8.2
@ AAA - 1,502 7.2
Majors MAJ 848 7.4

Couple of things. First, Darin Ruf is old. He turned 26 in July. Mayberry is really old, but we’ve had time to get used to that. The Phils took Ruf out of Creighton University and he didn’t get his first minor league plate appearance until his age 22 season. In 2011, he had a very nice year at Clearwater, hitting 308/388/506, but did it during his age 24 season. Domonic Brown, on the other hand, was taken out of high school and had already been to Double-A (for 162 plate appearances) by the end of his age 21 season. Brown reached Triple-A during his age 22 season while Mayberry and Ruf were both in A-ball or lower during their age 22 year.

Mayberry played three years at Stanford before debuting in the Northwest league in his age 21 season.

Bottom line for me when you look at the walk rates for those three guys across all levels, Brown is going to walk the most of the three. I’d guess it will be close between Ruf and Mayberry, but I’d bet that when their careers are over, Ruf will have walked in a higher percentage of his plate appearances than Mayberry. Especially in the unlikely event that he keeps hitting 50 or so home runs a year.

Mike Schmidt seems more optimistic about Michael Young’s chances of being a first ballot Hall of Famer than I am.

Laynce Nix has a bone spur in his right foot. The linked article suggests he’s not expected to miss time as a result of the bone spur.

The Phillies play an intrasquad game today. They play the Astros on Saturday and the Tigers on Sunday.