For those of us who follows the guys in the Phillies farm system, the performances of Adam Morgan and Darin Ruf in Friday’s intrasquad game were not surprising. Morgan pitched two innings, gave up two hits; erased both runners on two 6-4-3 double plays and struck out two. Darin Ruf lined two doubles, scored two runs , drove in two runs and caught two fly balls in left. You could say “deuces were wild” for them at Brighthouse Friday as they both got off to quick spring training starts.
Adam looked sharp in his live batting practice pitching earlier in the week. His called third strike on a pitch on the outside corner of plate to Ryan Howard in his second inning of Friday’s game was a thing of beauty. We will be watching closely for his next scheduled outing to see if he can match his impressive debut as he fights for a spot on the AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs rotation which already has Tyler Cloyd, Jonathan Pettibone, Ethan Martin plus journeymen veterans Aaron Cook and Rodrigo Lopez battling for starting rotation spots there. Last year we watched as Adam was the opening day starter for the Clearwater Threshers. This year a start sometime later in the year at Citizen Bank Park is not out of the question for the quickly developing lefty.
All week I have rushed over to Roberts Field to watch Darin Ruf take batting practice. The ball has been jumping off his bat in BP. Darin was able to carry over his hot bat from BP into a game situation. He is fighting for a spot on the 25 man opening day roster as an every day left fielder. His two doubles were both crushed off of righty Pettibone and lefty Cesar Jimenez. His second double was lined right over the head of John Mayberry Jr. who he is battling for the left field job. Though a first baseman by trade Ruf has played in only about 60 or so games in left total in his career, all last year, as he made the two catches in Friday’s game look routine.
With Domonic Brown in right field looking stronger than in previous season and driving the ball hard in Friday’s game it would be a real coup for the much maligned Phillies farm system to have two home grown players manning the corner outfield positions this season and a major league lefty ready at AAA to move into the major league rotation should the need arise during the season.. Most minor league experts have ranked the Phillies farm system well down the list in the major league farm system rankings. After Friday’s intra- squad game, Adam Morgan, Darin Ruf and Domonic Brown have jumped out of the gate early in spring training to prove those minor league rating experts wrong and that top quality talent does exist in the Phillies farm system if they only give them a chance.