Ruf, Milner named Minor League Players of Month

First baseman/left fielder Darin Ruf of the Reading Phillies is the Phillies Minor League Player of the Month for August. Pitching honors for the month go to left-hander Hoby Milner of the Lakewood BlueClaws.

Ruf, 26, batted .371 in August, slugging 20 home runs in 31 games. Reading went 13-5 during August games in which Ruf homered, helping him secure both the 2012 Most Valuable Player, and Rookie of the Year Awards from the Eastern League.

The Omaha, Neb., native, who concluded his 2012 campaign hitting .317 with 38 home runs and 104 RBI, finished five batting average points shy of capturing the EL Triple Crown. This year marked the second consecutive season that Ruf led his respective league in total bases (245, Florida State League, 2011; 303, Eastern League, 2012).

Ruf’s 38 home runs led all of Minor League Baseball and broke Reading’s club record of 37 home runs in a single season (Ryan Howard, 2004).

Milner, selected in the seventh round of this year’s draft out of the University of Texas, went 4-1 during August, amassing a 1.27 ERA, with seven walks and 30 strikeouts in 35.1 innings of work.

The 21-year-old ended his first season in professional baseball on a high note, going 5-1 over his last seven starts with a 1.11 ERA (5 ER, 40.2 IP) and 34 strikeouts. Milner finished 7-3 on the year between Williamsport and Lakewood posting a 2.50 ERA.