Ruggiano showing off range in center field

Ruggiano showing off range in center field

SAN DIEGO -- If a pitcher makes a mistake, Justin Ruggiano is more than capable of belting the ball out of the park.

The center fielder showed that in the Marlins' 14-2 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday. Ruggiano enjoyed a two-home run game in the series finale.

Defensively, Ruggiano also is showing the ability to cover plenty of ground. He made one of Miami's top defensive plays of the season when he tracked down Chase Utley's deep drive on Sunday.

"I'm not going to blow anyone away with my speed," Ruggiano said.

He's quick to note he will not be confused with speedsters like Philadelphia's Ben Revere.

"I always make sure in BP that I take one group seriously and work on my jumps," Ruggiano said. "I make sure I take the right angles. For me, that's key to everything I do in center, as well as communication with the other outfielders."

Another advance for Ruggiano is playing quality defense in one of the most spacious stadiums in the big leagues -- Marlins Park. At home, he's adapted to playing deeper than in other places. So when he plays at smaller places like Philadephia, he feels more on top of the action.

"It's weird," he said. "Every time on the road lately, I'm playing center and I feel like I'm so shallow. It's such a big difference.

"I can see the catcher's signs. I know what pitches are coming if no one is on second base. It's just funny. That's just how big our ballpark is. If I play back in no doubles [defense] at our ballpark, I feel like I'm a mile from home plate. Whereas, if I play no doubles [in Philadelphia], I feel like I'm at normal depth at our ballpark."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter