Ruggiano with the New York Mets in 2016
|New York Mets – No. 1|
April 12, 1982 |
|September 19, 2007, for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
(through August 26, 2016)
|Runs batted in||159|
|Representing United States|
|Baseball World Cup|
|2007 Tianmu||National team|
Justin Marshall Ruggiano (born April 12, 1982) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays / Rays, Miami Marlins, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Texas Rangers.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers drafted Ruggiano in the 25th round of the 2004 MLB Draft. The Dodgers sent Ruggiano to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2006, with Dioner Navarro and Jae Weong Seo for Toby Hall, Mark Hendrickson and cash.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays / Rays
Ruggiano made his Major League Baseball debut with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2007. On October 19, 2007, Ruggiano was added to the roster of the United States national baseball team to play in the 2007 Baseball World Cup.
In 2008, he batted .197 for Tampa Bay in 76 at bats. Ruggiano became part of a historical play in the 2008 World Series when Rays manager Joe Maddon moved Ruggiano from right field to become a fifth infielder, playing directly behind the second base bag.
During the 2010–11 offseason, Ruggiano was designated for assignment. He designated for assignment again after the 2011 season and on January 30, 2012, he elected free agency.
On February 6, 2012, he signed a minor league contract with the Houston Astros.
On May 26, 2012, Ruggiano was traded to the Miami Marlins for minor league catcher Jobduan Morales. He was called up to Miami the next day, and Kevin Mattison was optioned to Triple-A. After playing well in June, Ruggiano heated up in July. He ended the first half of the season with 6 home runs (4 in the last 6 games), 17 RBIs, and a batting average of .390. On September 21, Ruggiano injured his shoulder in the fifth inning in a game against the New York Mets. He finished the season batting .313 with 13 homers, 36 RBIs, 23 doubles, a .374 on-base percentage(OBP), and a .909 on-base slug percentage(OPS).
On December 12, 2013, the Marlins traded Ruggiano to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Brian Bogusevic. As a part-time outfielder during the 2014 season he played in 81 games before requiring surgery on his left ankle. Ruggiano finished the 2014 season hitting .281/.337/.429 in 224 at-bats, with six home runs and 28 RBIs.
On December 17, 2014, he was traded to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for minor leaguer Matt Brazis. He was designated for assignment on June 4, 2015. He cleared waivers and was assigned outright to the class AAA Tacoma Rainiers.
Los Angeles Dodgers
On August 31, 2015, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash considerations, and on September 1 was added to the active roster. He played in 21 games for the Dodgers in September (mostly starting against left handed pitching) and hit .291 with four homers and 12 RBI. On November 5, he was outrighted to the minors and removed from the 40 man roster. On November 6, he chose to become a free agent rather than accept an assignment to the minors.
On December 17, 2015, Ruggiano signed a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers. Ruggiano made the Rangers opening day roster with the initial plan of Ruggiano platooning with outfielder Josh Hamilton. Ruggiano started opening day for the Rangers going 1-4 with a double and an RBI. After the first game of the season, the Rangers designated Ruggiano for assignment. He was outrighted to the AAA roster afterwards. He was released on July 26th and signed by the New York Mets shortly thereafter, playing in his first game for the club July 30th, 2016.
New York Mets
On July 30, 2016, the Mets signed Ruggiano to their 25 man roster to replace the injured José Reyes After only six plate appearances with the Mets, Ruggiano was placed on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain. On August 18, Ruggiano returned from the disabled list. After appearing in five games and hitting two home runs including a grand slam off of Madison Bumgarner, Ruggiano was placed on the disabled list again with a shoulder injury.
As of February 2016, Ruggiano and his wife, Shelly, lived in Heath, Texas with their children. Following the late December 2015 North American storm complex, Ruggiano and his wife volunteered via their church to help in the recovery effort.
Ruggiano's brother, Brian, also played baseball for Texas A&M and was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Brian, a catcher, was taken in the 23rd round of the 2008 MLB Draft. Brian played four years of minor and independent baseball, never reaching higher than Class A.
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- Mariners Acquire OF Justin Ruggiano from Chicago Cubs
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- Harding, Thomas (December 17, 2015). "Rangers sign OF Ruggiano to 1-year deal". MLB.com. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
- Battifarano, Andrew (July 30, 2016) Mets sign Justin Ruggiano, send Reyes to DL SNY.com.
- Rubin, Adam (August 2, 2016). "Mets place SS Cabrera on DL amid roster shuffle". ESPN.com. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
- Guardado, Maria (August 27, 2016). "Mets place Justin Ruggiano on the disabled list (again), recall T.J. Rivera". NJ.com. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
- Sullivan, T.R. (February 20, 2016). "Justin Ruggiano aids community after tornadoes". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
- Laurila, David (August 21, 2010). "Family Matters, with Justin Ruggiano". Minor Issues. Baseball Prospectus. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
- Neary, Kevin; Tobin, Leigh A. (2012). Major League Dads: Baseball's Best Players Reflect on the Fathers who Inspired Them to Love the Game. Running Press. p. 195. ISBN 0762444525. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
- "Brian Ruggiano Register Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
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