We briefly touched on how Cameron Rupp made an unexpected jump from Double-A to a September call up (with a stop at Triple-A) this year, thanks to the misfortune of others. Tommy Joseph, the top catching prospect in the system, lost most of the season with post-concussion syndrome while Sebastian Valle regressed.
At the start of the season, Rupp was firmly behind those two catchers. Going into the 2014 season he seems to be well ahead. In fact, home plate umpire Mark Wegner told manager Ryne Sandberg how impressed he was with Rupp, who made his big-league debut on Tuesday night.
“The umpire said that was the best visibility and framing of pitches he’d seen all season,” Sandberg said. “It was pretty cool. With his posture, he gets a little rounded. I can see where the umpire would see the ball very well coming in. That was a pretty good compliment. Pretty impressive.”
That is pretty impressive. We rarely hear things like that from an umpire. The same goes for the players, too.
“That makes me feel good,” Rupp said. “You want to give the umpire the best look and give him a chance to call a strike for the pitcher, so that’s something I pride myself in.”
Coming up, Rupp will catch in the Arizona Fall League, where he'll join outfield prospects Kelly Dugan, Aaron Altherr and pitchers Kyle Simon, Mike Nesseth, Ken Giles and lefty Austin Wright.
Apropos of nothing, Dugan was the best-looking hitter I saw in the minors this year. He has that classic left-handed stance and swing and Reading manager Dusty Wathan says Dugan lives in the batting cage.
Any way, it will be interesting to see how the Phillies' catching situation shapes up over the winter and into the spring. Joseph and Valle need to bounce back, Ruiz could return after testing free agency and Erik Kratz is still hanging around.