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Phillies prospect Darin Ruf to gain left field experience in winter ball

Despite not playing the position in his first three winter ball games, the Phillies expect prospect Darin Ruf to use his time in Venezuela to develop his skills in left field.

Drew Hallowell - Getty Images

Philadelphia Phillies prospect Darin Ruf is expected to work on his left field skills during winter ball in Venezuela, but so far that has not been the case.

According to,"When discussing Ruf's winter plans, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said he expected Ruf would primarily play left field in Venezuela. It is a position both team and player believe requires more work time."

Ruf has started in three of Tiburones de La Guaira's four games, but he has yet to play left field, starting at first base once and as a designated hitter twice. He is 1-for-12 with a double, batting cleanup in all three games. There is still plenty of time, however, for Ruf to gain the left field experience as the Venezuelan season is 63-games long.

The Phillies acquired Ruf in the 20th round of the 2009 Draft. Ruf spent the majority of 2012 in Double-A Reading, hitting .317 and driving in 104 runs in 139 games. Philadelphia called Ruf up briefly at the end of 2012, with the 26-year-old appearing in 12 MLB games, hitting .333 with three home runs and 10 RBI.