To say that the Darin Ruf trade was a disaster would be an understatement. The New York Mets acquired Ruf at the trade deadline last season from the San Fransisco Giants, hoping he would be an upgrade over J.D. Davis at the DH position. This backfired horribly on the Mets; Ruf had twice as many strikeouts as he did hits, and he reportedly hated his time with the New York media. To add insult to injury, Ruf resigned with the Giants this past offseason following his release.
In return for Ruf, the Mets sent a whopping four players to the Giants. This included Davis, who is currently having the best season of his career in the Bay Area. For the rest of those prospects, they still have some work to do before making their way up towards the MLB, but they are proving to have what it takes to make the league.
The Mets clearly lost the Darin Ruf trade, and the prospects they sent over are showing a lot of potential.
The biggest name prospect the Mets sent to the Giants was Thomas Szapucki. A former fifth round pick, Szapucki had a career 27.00 ERA as a Met before being included in the trade. He found immediate success in California, where he was moved to the bullpen and only gave up three runs in 13.2 innings with 16 strikeouts.
Sadly, Szapucki will have to wait before building of last season. He was placed on the 60 day IL with "left arm neuropathy" and is without timetable to return. Szapucki would've most likely made the Giants roster as a solid arm out of the bullpen, so hopefully he is able to overcome this scary injury.
Another high end pitching prospect, Carson Seymour was also inlcuded in the trade for Ruf. A former sixth round pick, Seymour never found his way onto a major league roster in Queens. He was lights out in Single A ball before the trade, with a 1.78 ERA across 30 innings.
Seymour was promoted to Double A for his 2023 season with the Giants, but hasn't managed to find that same fortune from last season. He has allowed eight runs across 11.2 innings of work, but most importantly his command isn't where it used to be. After giving up nine walks all of last season, Seymour has walked nine through is first three starts. Still only 24, Seymour still has a lot of time to hone his skills, and the talent is undeniably there. However, it appears he is still a few years away from making his way to the major leagues.
The final pitching prospect sent across the country was Nick Zwack, now ranked the 39th best prospect in the Giants organization. A 17th round pick, Zwack posted a 2.81 ERA across three leagues in 2022 with the Mets. Most notably, he recorded an impressive 132/34 strikeout to walk ratio, which earned him a promotion to Double A for his 2023 season.
Through his first three starts, Zwack has struck out 14 over 10 innings of work. If he is able to keep his strikeouts up going forward, he could continue to ascend the rankings of the minor leagues in no time.
These three prospects have yet to make a mark since the trade, but if we revisit this a few years down the line I would not be surprised if all of them found their way onto a MLB roster. Couple that with the ressurgence of J.D. Davis, and the Darin Ruf trade might go down as one of the worst in franchise history when we revisit it again in the future.