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View Full Version : Somebody fill me in on all the Scott Ruffcorn references


cheeses_h_rice
06-27-2004, 10:00 PM
I was not a really big fan of baseball (or any sports) during the Scott Ruffcorn era of the White Sox, so could someone fill me in on what the deal was with him? Another "can't miss" prospect that failed?

doublem23
06-27-2004, 10:02 PM
I was not a really big fan of baseball (or any sports) during the Scott Ruffcorn era of the White Sox, so could someone fill me in on what the deal was with him? Another "can't miss" prospect that failed?Ruffcorn is a bit before my time, but he was a first round pick in 1991 and was very highly touted before putting together a robust 5-year career (4 with the Sox, debuting in 1993 and the final in 1997 with Pittsburgh), in which he pitched an amazing 70 innings with a career ERA a shade below 9.

Read all about it. (http://www.baseball-reference.com/r/ruffcsc01.shtml)

thepaulbowski
06-27-2004, 10:05 PM
Another "can't miss" prospect that failed?
You could say that he didn't live up to expectations.

PaleHoseGeorge
06-27-2004, 10:07 PM
Ruffcorn is a bit before my time, but he was a first round pick in 1991 and was very highly touted before putting together a robust 5-year career (4 with the Sox, debuting in 1993 and the final in 1997 with Pittsburgh), in which he pitched an amazing 70 innings with a career ERA a shade below 9.
Yeah, that pretty well sums it up. :wink:

I would only add that Ruffcorn was one of only a half-dozen or so can't miss prospects the Sox held onto in the 90's during the do-nothing Ron Schueler era when the Sox never did anything to put themselves over the top. There was always a pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow...

:schueler
"Hey, wait a minute! I went out and got Tim Belcher in '93. That's a tidy sum of accomplishments for 10 years in the GM seat!"

Tragg
06-27-2004, 10:07 PM
IT was pre internet so I relied on Gammons for my info on Sox prospects- whenever he talked about the Sox, he gushed about how Ruffcorn was "Can't miss". He praised Johnny Ruffin a lot at that time, too, whom we eventually traded to the Reds (for Tim Belcher who pitched well for us in the playoffs)- Ruffin fizzled as well.

freshdill
06-27-2004, 10:09 PM
The big thing is the Sox reportedly turned down many trades to immediately improve the club because they did not want to give up on Ruffcorn, whom they deemed a "can't-miss" product.

He missed.

It's funny his name is coming up, because at the game today a trivia question on the scoreboard was, "Who was the last player to wear No. 42 for the White Sox?" and the answer was Ruffcorn. In showing a video of Ruffcorn during the answer, they showed him throwing a pitch back to the screen, then covering home plate and tagging a runner out as he attempted to score. Probably the only highlight of the Scott Ruffcorn era they could find.

1951Campbell
06-27-2004, 10:26 PM
The whole Ruffcorn experience is why I can't stand all the pillow-biting and gnashing of teeth every time a trade comes up and people don't want to part with some "prospect" who will be "lights out" in just "five or six years."

Lip Man 1
06-27-2004, 10:45 PM
And let's not forget Rodney Bolton!

Lip

beckett21
06-27-2004, 11:14 PM
The whole Ruffcorn experience is why I can't stand all the pillow-biting and gnashing of teeth every time a trade comes up and people don't want to part with some "prospect" who will be "lights out" in just "five or six years."
Well said.

DSpivack
06-28-2004, 01:23 AM
Don't know if anyone remembers, but what were some of the trade offers for Ruffcorn?

StillMissOzzie
06-28-2004, 02:14 AM
Don't know if anyone remembers, but what were some of the trade offers for Ruffcorn?
I have a hard enough time remembering the trades that DO happen!

Just to amplify freshdill's comments earlier, the Ruffcorn remarks address the situation where:

A) A highly-touted prospect is deemed "untouchable" for trades because they are the "future (fill in the blank position) of the franchise"
B) Said highly-touted prospect never pans out anyhow

Ruffcorn and Ruffin are the poster boys for this situation, but I'm sure there are many more, and I would also bet that EVERY franchise has a few of them.

SMO

jeremyb1
06-28-2004, 02:20 AM
So what we got out of this thread is that Scott Ruffcorn was "can't miss". However, what does that really mean? KW obviously didn't think that about Reed so does that mean he won't pan out? Or since we tend to be wrong about these things that he will? Evaluating prospects is a very contentious practice. If you guys are going to form opinions on them, a "can't miss" label isn't enough. You have to figure out who made the claim, for what reasons, and whether there is an objective way of evaluating these claims. In other words, don't take one person's word as the truth. I can't find his numbers but I've often wondered how good Ruffcorn really was at all. Since people are comparing Reed with Brian Simmons today he could've been the 50th best prospect in baseball in his prime which isn't all that hot as far as "can't miss" goes. In fact I seem to recall him never being rated higher than 25 or 30 on Baseball America's top 100 lists for the last decade (can anyone with a BA subscription confirm or deny that) when at the most the top 5 should be considered "can't miss".

TommyJohn
06-28-2004, 08:25 AM
I was not a really big fan of baseball (or any sports) during the Scott Ruffcorn era of the White Sox, so could someone fill me in on what the deal was with him? Another "can't miss" prospect that failed?
Ruffcorn was traded to the Reds in 1993 in exchange for Tim Belcher, a veteran
pitcher who solidified the rotation. At the time there was debate over the deal
because Ruffcorn was a great prospect, but history has proven that the trade
wasn't such a bad one. The White Sox got to the playoffs without Ruffcorn,
who was a bust.

duke of dorwood
06-28-2004, 08:51 AM
As I remember, Ruffcorn, and Bolden were always mentioned as our staff of the future along with James Baldwin-the 3 top prospects we had.

Only one was a factor for us

LauraJ14
06-28-2004, 11:23 AM
Ruffcorn was traded to the Reds in 1993 in exchange for Tim Belcher, a veteran
pitcher who solidified the rotation. At the time there was debate over the deal
because Ruffcorn was a great prospect, but history has proven that the trade
wasn't such a bad one. The White Sox got to the playoffs without Ruffcorn,
who was a bust.
Ruffcorn wasn't traded to the Reds, he pitched for the Sox from 93-96 and was not good.

TommyJohn
06-28-2004, 06:30 PM
Ruffcorn wasn't traded to the Reds, he pitched for the Sox from 93-96 and was not good.
:redface: :redface: :redface: :redface:

You are correct. I checked on retrosheet.org. The pitcher sent to the Reds
was Johnny Ruffin, not Ruffcorn. Darn. I take pride in my memory, too. I
don't remember Ruffcorn with the Sox, which is just as well after getting a
load of the nifty ERA's he posted.

Tragg
06-28-2004, 06:35 PM
Ruffcorn was traded to the Reds in 1993 in exchange for Tim Belcher, a veteran
pitcher who solidified the rotation. At the time there was debate over the deal
because Ruffcorn was a great prospect, but history has proven that the trade
wasn't such a bad one. The White Sox got to the playoffs without Ruffcorn,
who was a bust.That was Johnny Ruffin, who along with as someone mentioned Rodney Bolton, was hyped almost as much as Ruffcorn.

jabrch
06-28-2004, 07:32 PM
Ruffcorn and James Baldwin were always mentioned together. They were supposed to be the next great Sox pitching duo. Well - sadly to say it didn't play out that way.

The point is that prospects come and prospects go. Some who are top prospects become HOF calibre players. (Griffey Jr. for example) Some are top prospects and are busts (Ruffcorn is a good one) Some are mid to lower tier prospects, but become good MLB players (Piazza/Buehrle/Mattingly/etc.) Others are just lowly farmhands for a reason. The fact is that adding a guy who can turn out 5th starter spot from a 10+ ERA to a 3.20 ERA is worth the risk of losing whatever Jeremy Reed and Miguel Olivo might someday become.

Foulke You
06-28-2004, 07:58 PM
Ahhh, Scott Ruffcorn. What memories. Previous posters were correct that Baldwin and Ruffcorn's name were always mentioned hand in hand. Also, Ruffcorn, Bolton, and Baldwin were always sited as reasons why the Sox didn't need to make any moves for pitching because these future "Cy" arms were waiting in the wings.

Anyone remember Mike Bertotti? He was another prospect I remember the Hawkeroo was hyping up in the mid '90s when he was called up to the big club. My thoughts turned to old Mike Bertotti after Arnie Munoz got shallacked in his first start after getting a good hype building pre game show from Hawk. Don't get me wrong, I love Hawkeroo but he sometimes gets carried away with some of our young players. Only a handful ever pan out. For every Buehrle, Garland, McDowell, and Wilson Alvarez, there are dozens of Scott Ruffcorns and Mike Bertottis.

Paulwny
06-28-2004, 08:04 PM
After Ruffcorn won the American Association's Most Valuable Pitcher Award in 1994 everyone in baseball thought he couldn't miss.

jeremyb1
06-28-2004, 08:17 PM
Ahhh, Scott Ruffcorn. What memories. Previous posters were correct that Baldwin and Ruffcorn's name were always mentioned hand in hand. Also, Ruffcorn, Bolton, and Baldwin were always sited as reasons why the Sox didn't need to make any moves for pitching because these future "Cy" arms were waiting in the wings.

Again by who? Clearly there are sports writers that know less about baseball that posters on this board. Clearly if I start telling everyone that posts here and all my friends about how incredible Jason Grilli is that doesn't make him a good prospect. I just don't understand when hype became synonymous with ability.