The 26-year-old's amazing August has allowed him to surpass Omaha Storm Chasers outfielder Wil Myers, who has 35 homers. Ruf hit home runs in three consecutive games, beginning Sunday, to pass Myers, who had led MiLB™ in roundtrippers since the middle of June. Oklahoma City's Mike Hessman is third with 33.
The top regular season home run hitter in the domestic-based leagues will be presented the Joe Bauman Trophy and a check representing $200 for each one he hit at the December 3 Baseball Winter Meetings™ Awards Luncheon at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.
Ruf, Myers and Hessman each have five games remaining. Should two or more players finish in a tie for the home run lead, RBI totals will be used as the tiebreaker to determine the winner. Myers has 104 runs batted in, Ruf has 98 and Hessman has 74.
Classification leaders, provided they are not the overall winner, receive a $500 cash award. Hessman leads Triple-A® by four over Luke Montz of the New Orleans Zephyrs. Charlotte's Dan Johnson is five back with 28. The RBI tiebreaker will also be used to determine classification winners, if needed. Like Hessman, Montz has 74 RBIs. Johnson has 84.
San Jose's Adam Duvall has homered nine times this month to assume the Class A® lead with 29. Telvin Nash of Lancaster is just one behind, but he trails Duvall's 97 RBIs by 26 should the two finish in a tie. C.J. Cron (Inland Empire), Miguel Sano (Beloit) and Matthew Skole (Potomac) trail Duvall by just two homers. Visalia's Jonathan Griffin is three back. Cron (123), Sano (98), Skole (102) and Griffin (98) all have driven in more runs than Duvall, in the event the tiebreaker is needed.
Joey Gallo of the Spokane Indians has a five-homer lead over all Short Season-A™ and Rookie® league players with 22. Fellow Northwest League slugger Daniel Vogelbach of Boise has 17. Gallo has just two games left in his regular season, while Vogelbach has three. Julian Yan of Grand Junction is next with 15 home runs, but his Pioneer League regular season doesn't end until Sept. 6, giving him eight games remaining.
If Ruf does not win the overall award, he has secured the Double-A® prize with nine more homers than anyone else in the classification. Mike Olt, the player in second place with 28, had his contract purchased by the Texas Rangers from Frisco this month and he has been in the Majors since Aug. 2.