Rupp Joins Phillies' Catching-Prospect Conversation





PHILADELPHIA—Farm director Joe Jordan is looking forward to a spirited spring training competition at the catcher position—and the field of contestants won't be limited to just backstops Tommy Joseph and Sebastian Valle.

"We're very high on both of those guys," Jordan said, "but there will be a third man in the competition, which is great."

Cameron Rupp is the third man of whom Jordan speaks. The former Texas Longhorn and third-round pick in 2010 had his best pro season at high Class A Clearwater in 2012 and is ready for Double-A Reading.

Barring an offseason trade, the Phillies will have three catchers in spring training vying for starting spots in Reading or Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

"There will be some interesting battles in the upper levels," Jordan said. "It will be fun to watch."

Valle saw time in Triple-A in 2012, and the 22-year-old has long been a prospect in the system. Joseph finished the year in Double-A after joining the organization as the centerpiece in the Hunter Pence trade with the Giants.

Rupp was a standout at the plate and behind it on his way to becoming a Florida State League all-star in 2012. He hit .267/.345/.424 with 10 homers, 22 doubles and 49 RBIs in 344 at-bats over 104 games. He threw out 34 percent of basestealers.

"He was as improved as any position player in our system," Jordan said. "He had a good, solid year offensively and took ownership of the catcher position and did a great job. He caught a lot of prospects with big arms and did an exceptional job with them. He led them."

Rupp's rise began in the second half of 2011 when he hit .318 in his final 51 games at low Class A Lakewood. He built on that success in 2012.

"He didn't just put himself on the map," Jordan said. "He put himself in the middle of the conversation."

PHIL-UPS

• Needing bullpen depth in the final days of the season, the Phillies summoned righthander Tyson Brummett from his home in Utah to the big leagues. The 28-year-old made 44 appearances at Double-A and Triple-A this season, logging a 1.14 WHIP and 83 strikeouts in 90 innings.

• Philadelphia acquired 22-year-old second baseman Stefan Jarrin from the Dodgers to complete the Shane Victorino trade. The 2011 40th-round pick has played only in the Rookie-level Arizona League.