Originally written on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Cameron Rupp, image- Jay Floyd In an organization stocked with catching talent, Cameron Rupp has, at times, been an afterthought.  That isn’t the case any longer, as the Phils’ 3rd round draft choice from 2010 has forced the team’s brass and scouts alike to take notice and hold him in consideration as a potential big league backstop candidate. While Rupp’s numbers (.215 avg, two home runs, six RBI through 18 games) aren’t overly impressive thus far this season, it’s the overall effort, defensive skills and numbers from previous seasons that have the projected ceiling for the University of Texas product on the rise. Rupp’s manager, Dusty Wathan, who had a 14-year playing career as a catcher, sees a great amount of potential in the six-foot-two 230-pounder and thinks that his future is bright, comparing him to the Phils’ current big league All-Star at the same position. “Carlos Ruiz came here eight or nine years ago and wasn’t very touted and look where he is now.  He has been a big contributor and to the World Series. I just think, hopefully, Cameron Rupp can be in that same mold. A guy that wasn’t really touted, wasn’t really a big prospect and, you know, has just worked hard and put himself on the map,” Wathan asserted. Ruiz, a .274 career hitter in eight big league season, has the starting job as the Phillies’ catcher locked down currently, but is slated to become a free agent following this season, which would open the door for one of the organization’s prospects. When Ruiz came up through the Phillies’ minor league ranks, he was rarely held in high regard as a potential future big league star. The man who became a World Series champion and represented the Phils in last year’s midsummer classic entered his age 25 season with Double-A Reading, in 2004, as a .250 career hitter with 14 home runs and 111 RBI in four professional seasons. Rupp, who seems to be ahead of the Ruiz minor league curve, entered the 2013 season in Reading as a career .258 hitter with 19 homers and 121 RBI in three professional seasons and, at 24-years-old, Rupp is younger than when the Panamanian born backstop began a season at the Double-A level. The righty hitting Rupp isn’t focused specifically on being the next Carlos Ruiz.  He did, however, absorb a lot from Ruiz during a rehab stop that the now 34-year-old veteran made with Reading last week. “You watch and you learn. I thought it was really cool, these games, they don’t mean a whole lot to him, but he came in there as if they did. He took the losses as tough as we did,” Rupp explained. “He came out, had fun with us and I could pick his brain and I learned a little bit about what he sees, when he sees it and it was a really cool experience.” After the Phillies added Tommy Joseph, who was acquired from San Francisco in last year’s Hunter Pence trade, to their already well stocked collection of catching talent, Rupp’s status in the system may have seemed to suffer a setback.  Joseph, who is 34 months younger than Rupp, was rated as a top ten Giants prospect prior to being dealt and is now among many national outlets’ top five Phillies prospects.  Joseph (.214 avg, three HR, 14 RBI, 19 games),  is the starting catcher with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  He joined Mexican slugger Sebastian Valle, who is 22 month younger than Rupp and has also been a very well regarded catching talent all throughout his career, in the Phils system.  Valle (.155 avg, two HR, six RBI, 18 games) currently splits the catching duties at Reading with Rupp. Despite what additions the Phillies make and aside from what the other players might be doing, it’s Rupp’s focus on his own game and his pitching staff that helps him excel. “I can’t really control the moves and things that (the Phillies) make. I can only control what I do out on the field. So, I come out every day, willing to work hard and give everything I’ve got that day. I’ve taken catching- defensively, I’ve learned so much more about the game in previous years. I’ve gotten the trust of most of these pitchers that I’ve worked with over the past few years and some of the new guys, I hope to gain their trust,” Rupp stated. Rupp also credits Wathan, whose father John Wathan is a former player and manager in the big leagues, with helping him develop behind the dish.  Dusty, who reached the big leagues with Kansas City, is the first manager that Rupp has ever played for that has been a catcher at the highest levels of the game. “It’s nice to be able to ask questions and have a guy that’s been in your shoes and been in the same situations and knows and understands the game,” Rupp said.  “And I know (Dusty’s) dad was a manager in the big leagues for a long time and, you know, he’s got a lot of background. He knows the game in and out and it’s helpful for us. We can get a lot of insight calling pitches, situations in the game, when to do things, when not to and it’s very helpful.” Rupp had a quick glimpse of the pinnacle of the sport, where Ruiz has enjoyed considerable success, and where Wathan battled for years to simply have a proverbial cup of coffee, as Rupp was in major league spring training with the Phillies this year.  The small sample of the bigs is something that has left the Plano, TX native thirsty for more.  And while his own future may depend on the paths of a few other players, Rupp’s objective is clear. “Getting sent back down to minor league camp was an eye opening experience, just from what it’s like up there, but it absolutely makes you want work twice as hard or harder just to get back up there.  That’s the goal.”
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Don Shula named in painkiller lawsuit from former NFL players

Kyrie Irving questionable for Game 2 versus Atlanta

Michael Sam signs with CFL’s Montreal Alouettes

Ex-A&M quarterback Kenny Hill transferring to TCU

Michael Bennett compares Pete Carroll to Willy Wonka

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jim Kelly: There is no doubt Tom Brady cheated

Warriors hang on, edge Rockets in Game 2 thriller

Farrell 'not ruling anything out' as Red Sox's struggles persist

Gretzky: Connor McDavid could be the next Gretzky

Bucs' Clint McDonald: Jameis Winston already leading team

Dana White: Rousey vs. Cyborg would break UFC PPV record

Is virtual reality training the next leap forward for football?

Warriors a very shaky 2-0 against the Rockets

NFL icon Bud Grant zings Pats with Deflategate joke on Twitter

RG3 announces birth daughter's birth on social media

Don't listen to Nick Saban, the bowl system is just fine

MLB scores partial victory in minor league wage lawsuits

Ranking the NBA Playoffs' most significant injuries

WATCH: Will Smith ejected for foreign substance on arm

Guy behind NFL's social media trolling of Pats is a Jets fan?

In defense of 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie

Madison Bumgarner homered off of Clayton Kershaw

Would both Towns, Okafor prefer not being the No. 1 pick?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Here come the Giants

Aaron Hernandez got new tattoo in prison

TUF weekly recap by NOS® Energy Drink

Ten players who could benefit due to PAT rule change

Five QBs set for breakout campaigns

Report: Lakers will pursue Thibodeau

MLS leaders struggling with attendance

LBS: I was a contestant on Sports Jeopardy!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.