Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 7/27/12
Generally, prospects are like mozzarella: the fresher the better. Sometimes, it takes some aging to get the cheese to taste just right. The Marlins are hoping it’s the latter more than the former with Justin Ruggiano. The outfielder is in the midst of a breakout with the Fish, and even with some regression, he’ll have one of the better (older) breakouts of all time. He’s also 30. What that number means for the future of this particular cheese is not great, though. Ruggiano’s having a great-tasting season. Despite a heavy step back, his ZiPs projection thinks he’ll remain above average the rest of the way and still end up showing offense that was 20% better than league average. This year, the big difference has mostly come from finally putting up the walk rate (10.2% MiLB BB%) and power (.196 MiLB ISO) that he always showed in the minor leagues. Now in Miami, he’s playing center field, walking at a double-digit pace, and thumping the ball (seven home runs and 15 doubles in 137 plate appearances).
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