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2008 Player Reviews: Justin Ruggiano

Yes, Ruggiano earned a spot. After all, he did have one of the most memorable at-bats of the season. Yes, the strikeouts stink, and he did so a ton, but he's a slight plus defender, despite a few hiccups, and can crush lefties. In Ruggiano's majors career he's shown the ability to hit for more than 20% line drives, but has yet to be rewarded with a decent BABIP. It is a bat speed issue? Perhaps, there's no way of knowing, but giving up on Ruggiano when he's yet to record 100 major league PAs is not a good idea. Especially not when the Rays happen to need a corner outfielder capable of hitting left-handers with some power.

Unless Ruggiano is a reptilian humanoid on a sabotage mission, I don't see much of a reason why he shouldn't get a shot at an outfield bench spot. Especially not with Fernando Perez likely Durham bound.