It’s been a very good start to Justin Ruggiano’s career and his relationship with the Chicago Cubs. Ruggiano is currently batting .583 in 12 at-bats, which certainly isn’t bad, although he’s only played in 5 games. Ruggiano fills a hole in the outfield with the absence of outfielders Julio Bourbon and Brian Bogusevic (who was traded for Ruggiano) for this year, providing a good glove and a bat for the Cubs line-up.
The Cubs acquired Ruggiano in December from the Miami Marlins for outfielder Brian Bogusevic, making the Cubs Ruggiano’s third team in his five years in the majors. Ruggiano has been with the Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays in previous years. Ruggiano avoided arbitration with the Cubs in February, signing a one-year deal worth $2 million.
Ruggiano had his best season in 2013, hitting career high 18 home runs and in RBIs with 50. Ruggiano also played 128 games last year, another high in his young career. So far Ruggiano has had a pretty productive Spring Training with Chicago, having 7 hits in 12 at-bats, 2 of those being home runs.
Ruggiano proved his skills in last week’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers when he hit a 2-run homer and drove in another to complete a 3-for-3 game. It wasn’t the first time Ruggiano showed off his talent for the Cubs, as he hit a solo shot and an RBI double in a game against the Oakland A’s last week as well, marking another day where he was the offensive MVP.
There is really no telling where Ruggiano could be going with the Cubs, but it seems he’s prepping himself for a starting job somewhere in the Cubs outfield. Either way, Ruggiano is an undeniable value to the team, and his prime offensive skills could come in handy to make the Cubs line-up a real threat next season