Having said that, they did execute a dubious move at the deadline that would have damaged their success more if they didn’t already have such a talented roster.
The Mets acquired Darin Ruf from the San Francisco Giants at the trade deadline in what they considered to be a great deal.
According to the New York Daily News, Ruf had a.886 OPS versus left-handed pitching in 2022, the year of the deal.
The left-handed power hitter has gone from success to failure in a month. The Athletic’s Marc Craig reports that the big league OPS+ average is 100. The Mets’ OPS+ for Darin Ruf is 9.
Ruf is familiar with the league. With the Philadelphia Phillies in 2012, he made his MLB debut. Before being moved to the Los Angeles Dodgers, he played with them until the 2016 season.
However, his time with the Dodgers was short-lived. He spent three seasons with the Samsung Lions of the Korea Baseball Organization after his contract was sold to them before returning to Major League Baseball in 2020.
He later returned to the major leagues with the Giants before being dealt to the Mets this season at the trade deadline.
Over the years, his overall performance has been wildly inconsistent, changing significantly with each season. He hasn’t, nevertheless, displayed as pronounced signs of difficulty as he has this season since 2016.
Mets deadline addition Darin Ruf doesn’t look great in hindsight
With the exception of his time in Korea, Ruf has a career batting average of.240/.329/.434 and an OPS of 763.
He demonstrated his ability as a power hitter during his two excellent seasons with the Giants, both of which had slugging percentages above.500.
The Mets were probably interested in that potential, but this season, he hasn’t come close to realizing it.
The fact that he isn’t performing up to par shouldn’t be shocking. He had a poor season with the Giants in the first half, hitting just.216/.328/.373 for an OPS of.701. His final season with the Phillies ranks as the poorest of his career, just below this one.
He performed exceptionally well in Korea, effectively earning him a return to the main leagues. He topped the KBO in RBIs in 2017 (124 in 134 games).
However, it did take him some time to realize his full potential during that season, and he has never been consistently outstanding. Over the course of his MLB career, he has only received two honors, both of which came in 2012.
The Mets’ questionable move for him saw them transfer some prospects and J.D. Davis to San Francisco. The Atlanta Braves, the defending World Series champions, are just behind New York in the race for the top NL East berth, so they don’t have much space to maneuver. It’s astonishing that they staked so much on Ruf.
He was mostly acquired in a trade because of his power against left-handed pitchers. “Darin has been pretty good in that spot in his career,” manager Buck Showalter said. It simply hasn’t supported him lately (via Matthew Roberson, New York Daily News).
Ruf is a riskier option for the Mets than it is for them to gain because it is uncommon to find a batter who can perform considerably well against left-handed pitchers.