Cameron Arthur Rupp
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 240 lb.
- School University of Texas
- High School Prestonwood Christian Academy
- Debut September 10, 2013
Rupp hit .500 as a high school junior, winning All-State honors. In the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic that year, he won the home run derby. As a senior, he batted .644 with 55 RBI and his school won the state title. He was All-American as per Rawlings and Louisville Slugger and he won the home run derby at the PlayStation All-American High School Baseball Game. Both years, he was All-State in football as well. The Pittsburgh Pirates chose him in the 43rd round of the 2007 amateur draft but he continued on to college.
As a freshman in 2008, Rupp hit .309/.389/.471 while fielding .990, winning the starting catching job. He was named a Freshman All-American by the National College Baseball Writers Association and by Collegiate Baseball. Baseball America chose Micah Gibbs instead. He batted .320 in the National Baseball Congress World Series to help the Santa Barbara Foresters take the title.
As a sophomore, Cameron produced at a .292/.387/.505 rate while leading a strong Texas team in homers (11) and RBI (46). In the 2009 College World Series, he homered twice in a game against Arizona State University then homered against ASU in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game at 3 in the contest that sent Texas to the finals. In the second game of the finals, he was 2 for 3 with a walk, double and run. He was named to the All-Tournament Team, beating out Gibbs, whose team had won the title.
Rupp hit .317/.406/.567 in the 2009 Cape Cod League, playing for the Cotuit Kettleers. Had he qualified, he would have been fourth in the circuit in average. Baseball America rated him the #23 prospect in the elite summer loop, just ahead of Hunter Morris.
His junior season, Rupp's batting line read .304/.390/.483 with 54 RBI in 63 games. He made All-Big 12 Conference at catcher. The Philadelphia Phillies chose Rupp in the third round of the 2010 amateur draft. Assigned to the Williamsport Crosscutters, he went 0 for 3 in his debut against the Auburn Doubledays and was just 2 for his first 15 as a pro. He hit only .218 that first season, but things improve after that. He hit .272 for the Lakewood Blue Claws in 2011, then .267 with 22 doubles and 10 homes for the Clearwater Threshers in 2012. In 2013, he played in both AA and AAA for the first time, combining to hit .258 with 14 homers and 45 RBIs in 94 games.
Rupp first reached the major leagues with the Phillies at the end of the 2013 season and had another cup of coffee with the team in 2014 after a tough season with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs of the International League, during which he hit only .165 in 59 games. In the majors, he hit .308 in 4 games in 2013, then .183 in 18 games in 2014. He established himself as a full-time major leaguer in 2015. That year, he played 81 games, hitting .233 with 8 homers and 28 RBIs. At first, he was mainly a back-up for veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz but his playing time increased as the season advanced, and when Pete Mackanin took over as manager in July, he made Cameron his starter.
On May 14, 2016, he made highlight reels with a great defensive play, as he took a thrown from left fielder Tyler Goeddel and hung on to the ball as Cincinnati Reds baserunner Eugenio Suarez barreled into him a split-second after he caught the ball. Suarez represented the potential tying run in the 9th inning, with the Phillies hanging on to a 4-3 lead with one out and runners on second and third. Pinch-hitter Jordan Pacheco had lifted a fly ball to deep left in what looked like a game-tying sacrifice fly, but Goeddel made a great throw, reaching Rupp on the fly just ahead of a charging Suarez. Rupp went down in a heap, but somehow hung on to the baseball in a bone-wrenching collision. "I was thinking, 'Hold onto that ball for dear life, don't let it go and whatever happens, happens. Sacrifice everything. That's my plate, don't let him get to it,'" he said, adding that he did not remember being hit that hard since he had played high school football.