The year was 2004. The Phillies had just started a new era of spending money and had recently moved into a beautiful new ballpark. The centerpiece of that transition was the signing of Jim Thome who had solidified first base and was hitting prodigious home runs. Meanwhile, there were rumblings of a late blooming prospect who was hitting homers of his own down on the farm at a slightly ridiculous pace. Late in that season, Ryan Howard got a chance to come up to the show for a brief stint. It was 2005 when Thome injured himself and Howard, still producing in the minors got a chance to show himself during an extended tryout with the team. After hitting .288 with 22 bombs during Thome’s absence, the Phillies had a decision to make. The decision was made and Thome was shipped to the White Sox and thus began the Ryan Howard era.
Fast forward to 2012. Howard is finding himself on the DL more and more and those rumblings start up about another 1st baseman working his way through the minors quickly (albeit late) while setting Phillies minor league HR records (most of which were Howard’s). Darin Ruf was “the next …read more
Via: Phillies Faithful