Eastern League MVP Darin Ruf Is Not One of Eastern League's Top Prospects

Eastern League MVP Darin Ruf Is Not One of Eastern League's Top Prospects

The Reading Phillies have three players on a list of the Eastern League's Top 20 Prospects according to Baseball America. Catcher Tommy Joseph, third baseman Cody Asche, and pitcher Jon Pettibone all made the cut. Home run king Darin "Babe" Ruf did not.

Ruf bashed his way into Reading's record books over the summer and to an Eastern League MVP award, yet there are 20 or more young better prospects at that level? Via Beerleaguer, BA explains:

Reading first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf won the EL MVP award, almost took the league's triple crown and led the minors with 38 homers (including 20 in July) but didn't crack the Top 20. He's 26 and scouts aren't sold that he'll be able to handle major league pitching.

We have to concede age is always going to be a factor when discussing prospects, but Ruf's exemption from this list altogether might raise some eyebrows. In an admittedly small sample size over the final few weeks of the season, he seemed to handle the show just fine.

As for the rest of the Phillies, Joseph -- acquired from San Francisco in the Hunter Pence trade -- is 10th, Asche is 17th, and Pettibone 19th.

Back to Ruf, what are your thoughts on this slight? Granted it doesn't mean much in the grand scheme -- we are still waiting for Dom Brown to live up to that pre-2011 ranking of fourth-best prospect in all of baseball -- but should we be concerned Ruf is still being overlooked by the scouting community?

>> 2012 Eastern League Top 20 Prospects [BA]

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Temple picked to finish 6th in AAC preseason poll

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Temple picked to finish 6th in AAC preseason poll

This is starting to become a trend. One Temple hopes to continue to prove wrong.

For the third straight year, Temple was chosen to finish sixth in the American Athletic Conference preseason poll. The poll, which was released on Monday, is voted on by the conference's head coaches.

Also selected to finish sixth last season, the Owls posted a 21-12 overall record and a 14-4 mark in the AAC to reach the NCAA Tournament. In 2014-15, TU tied for third in the AAC with a 13-5 record and was one of the last teams left out of the Big Dance.

Cincinnati was tabbed to win the American title in the poll, just ahead of UConn.

Temple, who returns three starters from last season's team, opens the 2016-17 campaign against city rival La Salle at the Liacouras Center on Nov. 11.